‘Rufiji project ushers in national, regional uplift’

02Mar 2021
The Guardian Reporter
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
‘Rufiji project ushers in national, regional uplift’

THE Julius Nyerere Hydropower Project (JHNPP) of Rufiji River is expected to be completed in June next year, bringing about an economic revolution in the country as well as in neighbouring countries, an expert has declared.

The 2,115 megawatts dam will be the largest by installed capacity in East Africa and among the largest in Africa comparable to Egypt’s Aswan High Dam (2100 megawatts), Mozambique’s Cahora Bassa Dam (2075 megawatts) and Angola’s Lauca Dam (2069 megawatts).

Addressing a team of media practitioners at the project site, the resident engineer from the Tanzania Electric Supply Co. Ltd (TANESCO), Kamugenyi Lutenganya said the project that will generate 2,115 MW of power will open up various economic opportunities in the country as well as in neighbouring countries. 

“When it starts operating this project will make Tanzania have enough power and surplus that can be sold to neighbouring countries in Eastern and Central Africa and earn Tanzania much needed foreign exchange,” he stated.

 He said the project was in advanced stages of construction and the contractor is expected to finalize it in time. “This project is being executed day and night, that’s why we’re very optimistic that it will be completed within the projected time,” he specified.

The mega project implemented by Egyptian firms –Arab Contractors and Elsewedy Electric will involve many features including a large dam that will also provide facilities for fishing tourism as it is located within the Nyerere National Park, he stated.

 The 134 metres (440 ft) arched, concrete dam is expected to create a reservoir lake 100 kilometres (62 miles) in length, covering 1,200 square kilometres (460 sq mi), with 34bn cubic metres of water.

 Energy minister Dr Medard Kalemani described the project as an avenue for Tanzania to get more revenue from a larger number of clients with large factories and more small users.

 The increase in electricity production will help the government achieve one of its major goals, to supply cheaper electricity to all regions, including rural areas.

He told the working session with the editors where TANESCO experts played a key role, that JNHPP is among strategic projects that will spur social development and push the country’s industrial agenda.

The project is sponsored 100 per cent by the government and will be completed in time and to international standards, he declared, reminding the audience that it will cost 6.5trn/- from internal funds where the government continues paying the contractors. So far it has paid out 1.9trn/, he pointed out.

Its completion will reduce power costs to consumers and there will be surplus power for selling to neighbouring countries, especially as the cost of electricity will go down. Hydro power generation was much cheaper compared to other types of power production, he affirmed.

Dr Kalemani said by 2023 Tanzania, through its various power sources will be able to produce a total of 4,881 MW of electricity while its actual needs will not exceed 2,700MW by that time.

The project has not, and will not cause any environmental damage as the area of the project is small in the Nyerere National Park complex, he emphasised.

 “In actual fact, the dam will reduce environmental destruction as tree cutting for charcoal will be greatly reduced, hence we should be proud of the project,” he remarked.

He further observed that TANESCO has been able to save 720bn/- annually that was being used to operate its 12 thermal generators in various regions....read more on https://epaper.ippmedia.com

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