Tanzania Electric Supply Company (Tanesco) plans to insulate its power cables that carry between 200 and 420 volts to protect people and the environment, it has been revealed.
Tanesco Managing Director, William Mhando, admitted in a telephone interview yesterday that there were some cables that have not been insulated but that these contained low voltage.
A survey conducted by this paper observed that most electric wires around the city and other towns were not insulated. According to Mhando these are supposed to be covered properly to protect the lives of people and the environment.
Some of the live wires have sometimes fallen down in streets, especially during strong winds or rain, endangering the lives of people.
This is especially so when the response of Tanesco officials to remove the fallen wires was slow.
But when asked to comment the Tanesco boss said they were planning to cover all naked electric wires to protect the people and the environment.
He, however, rejected claims that Tanesco officials were slow in removing fallen naked electric wires. “It is very rare for poles to fall down and stay for long without Tanesco’s action,” he said.
He also said other wires, particularly those carrying very high voltage didn’t need wrapping as many of them are far away from residential areas.
“If we cover them, they will become too heavy. Technically they are not supposed to be insulated as this may lead inefficient transmission of electricity,” he said.
But experience has shown that electric wires fall normally during rain seasons causing huge effects to the public including killing of people who step on the live wires on the ground.
Regarding the level of water at Mtera dam and looming power shedding, Mhando said Tanzanians should not fear.
“We are prepared. If water at Mtera dam dries up, we shall switch to fuel plants, though it is expensive to run them,” he noted.
He previously said they Tanesco focused on hydropower because it was cheaper than electricity produced using fuel.
Mhando said his firm has enough sources to generate power when hydro fails.
“We are able to meet electricity demand even if the dam closes,” he said.
Recently the Tanesco boss was quoted as saying the water level at Mtera dam had dropped to about 1.36 meters, which is only able to produce electricity for three months.
He said further that the company will be forced to use other sources of energy, if the situation of water at Mtera does not improve, stressing that the use of fuel to produce power was very expensive.
“If we start using fuel, power will be more expensive. We are spending 26bn/- a month to run Independent Power Tanzania Ltd (IPTL) plants,” he said, adding: “We still have faith that rains will come and things might work out.”
Reports by Tanesco show that power production in the country is as follows: Kihansi Dam 100MW, Kidatu 160MW, Mtera 40MW, Pangani 15MW, Hale 5MW and Nyumba ya Mungu 2.6MW.
Energy produced by other sources was as follows: Songas 142MW, Ubungo gas plant 102MW, Independent Power Tanzania Limited (IPTL) 60MW, Tegeta gas plant 42MW and Symbion 60MW.
The country’s power production capacity when all the sources are fully operating stands at 1,272MW.