The government has assured manufacturers of increased and stable power supply as it embarks on ‘Power Mix Strategy’ aimed at solving the electricity crisis in the country.
The Minister for Energy and Minerals Prof Sospeter Muhongo was speaking when he met a delegation from the Confederation of Tanzania Industries (CTI) who explained to him, among other things, the challenges the local manufacturers face.
During the meeting, CTI chairman Dr Samuel Nyantahe made a presentation in which he told the minister that manufacturers were still facing power challenges despite government efforts to improve supply.
He said their production performances were affected by frequent power outages; high or low power voltages; inadequate information on outages or power rationing; and the fact that there were no compensation in case of losses due to unannounced power cuts.
Other challenges include lack of immediate response in case of emergency and high tariff rates; issues which he said undermined the manufacturers’ performance.
In his response, Prof Muhongo said his ministry had moved from relying on hydro-power which to a great extent depends on rainfall to ‘Power Mix Strategy’ which targets to diversify power production.
“Hydro-power has proved to be unreliable as it depends on availability of water,” he said adding that there was enough natural gas in Mtwara, Lindi and Mkuranga to generate power.
He also used the opportunity to invite the private sector to invest in power generation using natural gas.
Other sources that the private sector could use to generate power included coal, renewable energy (solar, wind, tides and waves, geothermal and bio-energy) and mini hydropower of not more than 10MW, he said.
He directed the power utility firm Tanesco to start consultation with various stakeholders to reduce power tariffs as the current tariffs were high thereby affecting industrial competitiveness.
On the issue of compensating manufacturers for losses incurred as the result of unannounced power cut, Prof Muhongo said that the matter could be sorted out with Tanesco after getting proof that the damage was caused by Tanesco’s faults.