The over 6.1trn/- mega project, the fourth largest such project in Africa, has seen banking experts from CRDB Bank Plc team up with engineers from Tanesco and TanRoads to provide financing, supervision and consultancy where formerly foreign consortiums would have prevailed.
“As a local bank owned largely by Tanzanians and the Treasury, we feel good to be associated with this mega project, a strategic project by the government,” said the CRDB Bank CEO and managing director, Abdulmajid Nsekela.
Accompanying members of the bank’s board of directors led by its chairman, Dr Ally Laay, he said CRDB Bank is happy with the government and Tanesco’s confidence in the bank, as this has petmitted the city-based lender to provide bank guarantee for over 1trn/- to the joint venture of Egyptian firms, Arab Contractors and Elsewedy Electric.
“I must say that as a bank this is the first time we have been involved in financing as we partnered with United Bank for Africa with CRDB as lead arranger,” Nsekela said, elaborating that Moody’s placed CRDB at B1 positive outlook in its rating, so the bank has the muscle to provide financing for virtually any strategic state mega project.
“We are happy that this project is making good progress and according to engineers is on schedule, which means Tanzanians should expect reliable supply of electricity by June next year,” he stated, intoning that the bank is also supporting strategic state projects including the Standard Gauge Railway and the rural electrification drive.
“As a bank, we will continue supporting efforts being made by the government to improve the lives of our people by encouraging private investments which create jobs and enhance revenue collection,” he stated.
Resident engineer John Mageni and Tanesco acting managing director Pakaye Daniel paid tribute to CRDB Bank for supporting the project, saying the financing has meant that all construction and supply works are on schedule.
Mageni, who heads the Tanzania Engineering Consulting Unit (Tecu) supervising the project, said that due to stable financing by CRDB Bank, come June next year the nine turbines at the JNHPP will roar into life. A staggering 2115MW will be added to the national grid, with board chairman Laay wondering if the local market will rapidly absorb the huge megawatt addition.
“I must thank the government for having confidence in us and thus appointed Tanesco as supervisors,” said Pakaye, who assured the public that better days are coming when power tariffs will likely go down.
Arab Contractors and Elsewedy Electric experts are working hard to beat the June 2022 deadline, with no logistical or financial challenges to cause a delay in the completion schedule, the resident engineer affirmed.
“We are confident that come June 2022 the first unit of power generated will go into the national grid,” he stated, underscoring that mega power project will changes lives in the country for the better.
Earlier, Dr Laay said that after 2115MW is added to the national grid next June, the country will have over 3,600MW in capacity, which the local market shall take a while to fully absorb that potential.
He hinted at plans to export power to neighbouring countries despite that the focus of ongoing projects is local consumption, with Pakaye underlining that the Mchuchuma-Liganga coal and iron project needs over 400MW in daily supplies, while the SGR project when completed will consume vast amounts of energy.
“But we also expect to export to Mozambique and Zambia which have shown interest and certainly local demand will grow due to industrialization,” he stated. T he government is planning more hydro power projects in future, he added.