The minister for Energy and Minerals, Professor Sospeter Muhongo, said yesterday that Kinyerezi I power plant, which is expected to generate 150MW, is set to commence its operations on March 30, this year.
He said the launch of the Kinyerezi I plant would go along with the reduction of power tariff with effect from April 1, this year.
Last week, Tanesco presented a proposal to the Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority asking for the reduction of power price effective next month and January next year.
The minister added that the government had already embarked on the implementation of Kinyerezi II and that the construction of the 240MW project would be accomplished by 2018.
Prof Muhongo said the completion of the two projects, which were expected to generate power using natural gas, would see the government saving billions of shillings currently spent on importation of heavy furnace oil for running generators.
He added that the first phase plant would supply 70MW and that the remaining 80MW would be released as per the promised time line.
“We’re implementing many power generation projects in various parts of the country. In few years to come, we’ll have sufficient power,” said Prof Muhongo, adding that Tanzania was looking forward to export surplus electricity to neighbouring countries.
“We cannot achieve the industrialised economy the fifth phase government cherishes without having sufficient and reliable power,” said Prof Muhongo, hinting that several firms were interested in investing in coal and solar power generation in the near future.
Tanzania Electricity Supply Company Limited project manager Simon Jilima said the project was initially set to be accomplished before March 30, but owing to financial constraints, it failed to meet the earlier deadline.
Much as the government funded the project, the pace of the implementation had to cope with the scheduled allocation of the resource.
But quality assurance was another reason behind the delay, he said, explaining that the supplier of materials had to adhere to all laid down procedures well before he imported them. “The procedures also took time to accomplish,” he said.