The government of Tanzania in collaboration with US-based Symbion Power, have recently announced that with the construction of the mega power plant in Mtwara Tanzania, the country will be capable of exporting electricity by 2017.
Speaking after the Powering Africa conference, the Symbion Chief Executive Officer, Mr Paul Hinks said the envisaged gas-powered plant will produce 600 MW. He therefore called for partners in the construction sector to make this project a reality.
“Under this major power project, Tanzania is to export electricity to the neighbouring countries of Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, Burundi and Rwanda. It will be the biggest gas-powered plant in the region,” he said.
He said the project funded by the US government will be undertaken in two phases. The first phase will entail construction of a 400MW gas-powered plant while the remaining 200MW will be made available under the second phase.
“We are currently discussing with potential partners to develop the power plant. Next year will be a busy year for soliciting project partners,” he said.
The Deputy Managing Director for Tanzania Electric Supply Company (Tanesco), Mr Declan Mhaiki, said such a project was intended to establish a strong business in electricity exports that will see Tanzania earning foreign currency through trading in electricity. He added that upon completion of the project, shortage of electricity will be a thing of the past in Tanzania.
“This project is very good for our economy as we expect to export electricity in large quantities to neighbouring countries…we will be able to earn substantially in foreign exchange,” he stressed.
Also during the conference, a number of international investors were optimistic that the country has huge investment opportunities in the energy sector. They said Tanzania possesses almost all sources of energy, ranging from renewable and non-renewable options.