The minister for energy Sospeter Muhongo told East African Business Week that the Washington DC based, power firm, Symbion will embark on an independent power project in 2014. This was revealed during the Powering Africa meet in Dar es Salaam recently.
Muhongo said Symbion will undertake the project as a Public Private Partnership with the state owned power utility, Tanzania Electricity Supply Company (Tanesco).
He said: “That project will be able to generate 600MW of power. We shall build a 650kms 400kV transmission line from Mtwara to Songea, all located in the southern part of Tanzania.”
According to Minister Muhongo, once the project completed, Tanzania will be able to export power to Malawi, Zambia and parts of DRC.
He praised the American power company Symbion Power describing it as a “key player” in the country’s electricity private sector. The 225MW the firm delivers to Tanesco are vital especially with the drought lowering the output of hydro-electric power systems.
Symbion Power’s Chief Executive Officer, Paul Hinks said this is perhaps the first investment in the power sector that falls under the Public Private Partnership Act of 2010. This law requires Tanesco and Symbion to adhere to a strict legal roadmap. It has taken us longer than we had both anticipated but we are now at an advanced stage, he said.
Hinks said his firm is currently fast-tracking the installation of 20MW of gas power generation to Mtwara by mid 2014. He said until this year, there has been insufficient demand in the area, making it uneconomic for Tanesco to install a new plant in the area. However this year, with oil and gas infrastructure, port operations and new industries the demand for power is up.
– East African Business Week