The recruitment of contractors who are to undertake the long awaited 220KV power transmission line project in the Southern Highlands region will take place in a couple of months, the Swedish embassy has confirmed.
The project was scheduled to start early next year, but due to various reasons, including upgrading the transmission line, has led to adding more time for detailed design.
Speaking to this paper in an interview, the embassy’s First Secretary Samer Fayadh, said the project is proceeding as planned.
“The detail design, including environment and social plans, is proceeding well and we are hopeful that procurement of contractors to start the work on the ground will take place in a couple of months,” he stated.
Asked why the project has taken long to start, he said it was due to different reasons which consist of economic activities.
“The government of Tanzania and Tanesco has decided to upgrade the transmission line from 132kv to 220kv due to increased socio-economic activities in the region, that has led to additional time required for the detailed design of the line,” he added. It is anticipated that when completed, the project will benefit more than 1million people in Southern highland region.
The project is divided into two parts under two separate agreements with the government of Tanzania; one for the 220 kV transmission line and the second for the rural electrification and Technical Assistance (TA).
According to him the latter specific agreement was signed in 2008, the transmission line agreement was only signed in August 2010, hence the delay in implementation.
He noted that an international TA consultant company was procured by Tanzania electric supply company (Tanesco) to support in the implementation of the project and started working since last September.
In August last year Sweden made its first disbursement to the Ministry of Finance to cover the advance payment for the TA and costs until end of 2011.
Four years ago the government of the United Republic of Tanzania and the government of Sweden signed two agreements under which Sweden agreed to provide financial support on a grant basis totaling Swedish Kronor 304m (approximately 48.7bn/-) to enable the government to implement the projects for five years
The first financing specific agreement signed committing 46.5bn/- is for financing the Makambako – Songea transmission line and rural electrification of districts in Iringa and Ruvuma regions.
Specifically, the project aims to extend the national grid network and electrification of Namtumbo, Mbinga, and Mbamba bay areas.
The project will also include an installation of a new substation in Madaba about half-way between Makambako – Songea in order to electrify villages in vicinity of Madaba and further extension to district town Ludewa.