The Ministry of Energy and Minerals yesterday refuted media reports that there would be power shedding soon, assuring the pubic of availability of electricity until December this year.
The Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Eliakim Maswi told reporters in Dar es Salaam that the installed capacity of electricity is 1,375.74 megawatts while the available capacity is 873megawatts, saying the average electricity requirement is 650 to 720 megawatts.
“The accessibility of electricity in the country meets the requirements and the country will not experience power shedding,” he stressed.
The PS said hydropower generated in the country is between 120 megawatts to 150 megawatts (average of 132 megawatts), with Mtera power station producing 22 megawatts, Kidatu 54 megawatts, Kihansi 60 megawatts, Nyumba ya Mungu 3 megawatts, Hale 3 megawatts and New Pangani Falls 9 megawatts.
According to the PS, natural gas power plants produce an average of 348 megawatts with Songas supplying 180 megawatts, Ubungo Gas Plant- I (Wartsilla) 77 megawatts, Tegeta Gas Plant 41 megawatts and Ubungo Gas Plant II (Jacobsen) 50 megawatts.
Maswi added that thermal power plants produce an average of 240 megawatts, with IPTL supplying 100 megawatts, Symbion (Dodoma) 40 megawatts, Symbion (Arusha) 40 megawatts and Symbion (Ubungo) (Jet A1) 60 megawatts.
He said that the 408bn/- loan provided to Tanzania Electric Supply Company (Tanesco) is just part of the solution to stabilising electricity supply, clarifying that the government had given a total of 222.4bn/- as a subsidy to the utility.
The company was recently provided with 25bn/- in order to ensure availability of oil for reliable power generation. “Already the government has spent 247.4bn/- to ensure reliable electricity,” stressed Maswi.
Reacting to the PUMA Energy (T) Ltd tender previously known as British Petroleum (BP) (T) Ltd, he said the tender was provided to the company after the ministry was satisfied that the process was in accordance with public procurement regulations No. 42 (1) of 2005.
“PUMA is a patner of the government, holding 50 per cent of the shares in the firm, and that purchasing oil at a cheaper price is not a bad thing. The procurement board of RITA (which was overseeing liquidation of IPTL) has already selected PUMA and therefore other matters should be left for the investigator”.
Last week Maswi accused the state-owned utility firm’s top managers of ‘intentionally’ planning and initiating power rationing to damage the credibility of the government in the Parliament.
Analysts said last week that there is a close link between the financial crisis facing the cash-strapped power firm and its failure to secure a 408 bn/- loan from the consortium of local banks, as well the government’s delayed guarantee required by the lenders. Fears of a repeat of black-outs stem from the fact that while the government has not honoured its financial commitments to Tanesco – made public inside Parliament last August -- the level of waters in the main hydropower generation dams is dropping drastically, with the likelihood that it could worsen by the end the year.
A technical report prepared by Tanesco management which was presented last week to its board of directors and a copy served to the Minister of Energy and Minerals revealed that Tanesco needs 462 bn/- from the government to cover the deficit for the period between July and December, this year.