Electricity generation in 21 per cent decline

19Nov 2021
By Guardian Reporter
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
Electricity generation in 21 per cent decline

​​​​​​​POWER generation at major dams has dropped by 344 megawatts (21 percent of total) due to decreased levels of water caused by shortage of rainfall and lower levels of river intake.

TANESCO Director General Maharage Chande.

In a media advisory, the Tanzania Electric Supply Co. (TANESCO) said yesterday that on-going drought across the country was threatening electricity generation in hydropower  plants, noting that the decrease of water in the dams has affected electricity generation at Kihansi, Kidatu and Pangani power stations.

The company was thus moving to step up power generation using natural gas, by speeding up the maintenance of some of its plants including Ubungo I with 25MW capacity, Kinyerezi I with 185MW and Ubungo III that yields 112MW of power at full throttle, the firm affirmed.

The company also looks forward to launching the 36MW plant at Nyakato power station, thus adding a total of 358MW to available power for the national grid, it said.

Power shedding is expected in various regions, in which case the firm will be issuing timely information for clients to plan their activities correctly, the advisory intoned, regretting inconveniences caused by on-going power blackouts.

Routine data on electricity generation puts the country’s capacity at 1,605MW where gas contribution tops 900MW, hydropower 508MW and renewable sources around 58MWof input, but certain projections affirm that by 2023, out of 550MW of new power input generated private sector sources will account for 400MW and the public sector 150MW, with the parastatal expecting 600MW new input by 2025.

Hydropower production is among the major sources of electricity at present, but major rivers feeding key dams have low levels of water owing to a prolonged dry season.

Last week, TANESCO Director General Maharage Chande said that there was no power rationing as yet, but intermittent outages and early morning shedding in the city of Dar es Salaam are commonplace.

Transformer maintenance is often singled out as causing power disruptions.

Energy minister January Makamba a fortnight ago was at pains to explain on social media as to what lasting solutions are available to endless power cuts.