M a r k e t N e w s

Tanzania: REA Mulls Power to 1.2 Million Rural Residents By 2020

Posted on : Tuesday, 26th May 2015

The Rural Energy Agency (REA) envisages supplying 1,250,000 rural dwellers with electricity in the next five years, thanks to about 900bn/- that the government has set aside to support the grand project.

REA Chairman Edmund Mkwawa, releasing the agency report on implementation of rural energy projects in Dar es Salaam over the weekend, said the massive rural electrification project started in October 2013 and it is progressing well.

The project involves construction of six stations to increase voltage to 11/33kv in Kigoma, Kasulu, Kibondo, Ngara, Mbiga and Tunduru for 13,600km of a distribution line for 11/33kv.

It will also cover some 7,000 of a distribution line for 0.4kv, installing of connecting transformers and connecting of some initial 250,000 customers when the contractors go through their areas.

He said the project will be conducted countrywide in 133 districts and it has in place the best infrastructure to meet over a million customers in the next five years.

"This will be one of the biggest rural electrification projects that has ever been put in place for sub-Saharan Africa," said Mr Mkwawa during a press conference in Dar es Salaam over the weekend.

He said to meet the intended goals they are well focused to ensure that the task is being made as planned and adding that as of June, this year - 9,752 customers will have power.

Much as the projects is meant to cater for all areas in the country, but special consideration will be for areas with the lowest electricity connections, especially Katavi, Rukwa, Mtwara, Lindi, Kigoma, Tabora and Kagera regions.

He added that as of December, last year, 5,434 villages, which is equal to 36 per cent of all villages in the country, were connected with electricity plans being by 2030 all villages will be having power.

Moreover, the REA Chair said that between 2010 and 2014 the authority offered matching grant worth 3.1 million US dollars for feasibility studies, business write-up and small hydropower projects with the capacity to generate 94 megawatts and having the capacity to connect 52,500 people in the project areas.

On the performance grant, Mr Mkwawa said that seven projects have benefitted, amongst them Mwenga, Mawengi and Andoya, which have enabled power connection to 4,600 customers.

REA and Sumbawanga District Council have coordinated sustainable solar market packages for 82 villages to serve dispensaries, secondary schools, health centres and police posts.

"The project is complete and for the time being, the authority is coordinating such projects for 452 villages in Biharamulo, Sikonge, Chato, Bukombe, Kasulu, Kibondo, Tunduru and Namtumbo municipalities," he said.

On top of that, the authority is offering credit line facility for renewable energy projects for Mufindi, Mbinga and Mafia districts whereas 5.43 million US dollars have been given to set up small power generation projects in the areas.

REA Director General Lutengano Mwakahesya said that 80 per cent of the projects are sponsored by the government. Hence, under the National Electrification Investment Prospectus 2013-2022, the electrification project will reach 75 per cent of the population from the current 36.

Source : allafrica.com
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