Like most Africans, Tanzanians have long been complaining about the epileptic power supply in their country. And now, the government is set to spend a whooping $1.9 billion to upgrade transmission infrastructure with the aim of improving distribution.
The country’s energy minister, January Makamba, announced before parliament that the project will entail upgrading “power sub-stations and transmission lines across the country to stabilize power supply”. Speaking further, he blamed the erratic power supply situation in Tanzania on the persistent failure to invest in repairs and maintenance of facilities. For instance, while the country’s state-run public utility firm — Tanzania Electric Supply Co. —generated a total revenue of 1.8 trillion shillings ($778 million) in 2021, less than 10% of that sum was invested in facility repairs. The expectation, therefore, is that the heavy investment the government is about to make would change the status quo. But then again, it’s important to reiterate the fact that this is a huge project. And the energy minister did not exactly disclose how the government plans to finance it.
Like most African countries struggling with poor electricity generation and distribution, Tanzania has huge gas reserves. According to Bloomberg, only about half of the East African country’s current electricity output of 1,600 megawatts is being generated through gas. Meanwhile, Business Insider Africa understands that Tanzania is also building a 2,115 megawatts hydropower station. When the $3 billion project finally gets completed, Tanzania could end up exporting some of its electricity to its neighbors.
This article was written by Emmanuel Abara Benson and initially published at techcrunch.com. You can start earning money by becoming our Independent Reporter or Contributor. Contact us at IR@downtownafrica.com
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