M a r k e t N e w s

African Development Bank backs study into Tanzania hydropower and dam project

Posted on : Friday, 12th August 2016

The African Development Bank (AfDB) said the grant being made available to Tanzania’s government is in principle to study the potential for building a 300-megawatt hydro generating facility on the river Ruhuhu in Kikonge, in the southwest of the country.
If developed, the facility is expected to boost domestic electricity production in Tanzania by 53%, culminating in 1,300 gigawatt hours of production by 2025, said the AfDB, which manages the AWF on behalf of the African Ministers’ Council on Water.
The AWF grant is for €2m with additional contributions from the Climate Resilient Infrastructure Development Facility (€0.3m) and Tanzania’s government (€0.2m). The estimated duration of the project is 22 months.
The AfDB said: “The country’s hydropower plants of the run-of-the-river type are highly vulnerable to seasonal variations and drastic variations of water availability as a consequence of climate change.”
According to the AfDB, the study will include proposals to build a dam with a capacity of six billion cubic metres “to allow a stable supply of energy throughout the year”.
The multi-purpose facility will help to combat severe energy shortages in Tanzania, the AfDB said. “In October 2015, most of the hydropower plants, representing 35% of the country’s total generating capacity, were switched off due to the low water levels following an extended period without rain.”
The dam “will also improve availability of water resources for irrigation and associated activities in the area”, the AfDB said. “Regulating the flow of the Ruhuhu will allow water to be available throughout the year instead of depending on the rain season inflows. It will also reduce the impacts and damages of floods on infrastructures and economic activities, with positive impacts on the ecological features of the shores of Lake Nyasa.”
Tanzania has an increasing need to boost domestic electricity production. Last year, the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (Sefa) approved a preparation grant for the development of a number of “solar-hybrid mini grids” in rural growth centres in Tanzania.
Sefa is a multi-donor facility designed to unlock private investments in small to medium-sized clean energy projects in Africa. The fund is endowed with $60m from the governments of Denmark and the US. The $420,000 Sefa grant for Tanzania was awarded to Jumeme Rural Power Supply Ltd – a joint venture company formed by German energy supply systems firm Inensus GmbH, Austria-based renewable energy project developer TerraProjects and Tanzania’s St Augustine University in Mwanza.
The World Bank has said the impact of climate change on Africa’s water and energy infrastructure “will be costly” and that immediate action is needed to reduce risks to future planning and investment. In a report published last year, ‘Enhancing the Climate Resilience of Africa’s Infrastructure’ (192-page / 9.21 MB PDF), the bank said a “climate resilience project preparation facility” should be established to support plans for infrastructure investment, in addition to training programmes for planners and designers.
The bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) is backing a wind farm project in central Tanzania’s Singida province, around 700 kilometres from Dar es Salaam, which it said will be “a blueprint to wind developers eyeing Tanzania”.
According to the IFC the Singida project will increase Tanzania's installed generating capacity by 100 MW. The facility, which will cost a total $285m to develop, is expected to start operating by December 2017 and provide “a stable and inexpensive source of power”.
In the 2012 update of the Tanzania Power Master Plan, the government said it wanted to see 250,000 new connections to the grid annually from 2013 to 2017.

According to the International Monetary Fund (51-page / 1.03 MB PDF), Tanzania also has “good prospects” over the next decade of becoming a major producer and exporter of natural gas. 

Source : www.out-law.com
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