Tanzania Is Finding Ways To Power Its Ambitions

Moving away from fossil fuels to provide the country with the energy supply it needs to unlock its potential.

Tanzania has signed a record contract with Egypt to build a new 2,115 MW hydroelectric power station on the Rufiji Hydro Project site across the Rufiji river. The US$2.8 billion power station, set to become the largest in East Africa, is seen by the government as a key asset in its broader agenda to transform Tanzania into a middle-income country by 2025.

โ€œThe national target for the energy sector is to make sure that we reach 5,000 MW by 2020, and at least 10,000 by 2025,โ€ says Hon. Medard Kalemani, the Tanzanian Minister of Energy.โ€œWe aim at improving our economy through a semi-industrialised system. The engine for that is electricity. The current available power in the national grid is 1,600 MW. Our demand by 2025 is to be at least at 2,000 MW.โ€

The new dam, scheduled for inauguration in 2022, will provide the country with a source of clean, affordable and reliable energy, which will contribute to increase access to electricity for Tanzanian citizens (the government hopes to connect at least 85% of the population to the national grid by 2025) and satisfy the future energy needs of a semi-industrialised country.

The government is working closely with the private sector to further the electrification of rural villages, after two Tanzanian rural electrification projects, Rift Valley Energy (RVE) and Ensol Tanzania, won several international awards for their contribution to the improvement of the overall quality of life in remote communities.

Tanzania has been progressively moving away from importing fossil fuel, increasing the countryโ€™s reliance on alternative sources, such as LPG. โ€œBringing cleaner energy into the marking is essentialโ€, claims Sophonie Babo, Managing Director of Oryx Energies, the LPG market leader company in Tanzania. โ€œThe way we have been packaging our gas and the security we transport it with allows us to reach very long distances and reach rural areas with no electricity nor liquid fuel.โ€

The Tanzanian government is also committed to putting its remarkable domestic natural gas reserves to good use, negotiating with key private sector operators for the construction of an LNG plant with the aim of finding the ideal energy mix for the country. โ€œYou really want an energy mix that is as environmentally friendly as it can be: reliable, affordable, and able to be distributed across the broadest possible network to ensure that the majority benefit from it,โ€ says Andrew Hanna, Managing Director of PanAfrican Energy. โ€œTanzania is blessed with a wealth of natural resources that can be used for energy generation. There is quite a lot of sunshine, as well as huge hydro power potential, wave power potential, and 57 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.โ€

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