Construction of the most sensitive areas including the main dam designed to preserve water for power generation at the Julius Nyerere Hydro-electric Power Project (JNHPP) among others is yet to be finished as earlier anticipated, the Government has said.
Newly appointed board members of the National Power Utility Firm (TANESCO) under the Ministry of Energy issued new updates of the ongoing mega project after inspecting construction work at the site in Rufiji basin.
The Board members observed other areas at the site and noticed that there is a slow progress, which has culminated into unfinished areas such as within the powerhouse where there are power waterways.
It is in this area whereby about 27 transformers are due to be installed in the powerhouse, currently the work involves strengthening concrete walls for tunnels to allow passing of water for electricity generation of the turbines.
The water dam at the site has been designed in three main areas with a total length of 1,025 meters and the width of 190 meters away above the sea level on which a powerhouse with six power machines would be installed once completed.
According to the project’s design, the machines would generate hydraulic turbines with shafts on top of each and finally generate the electricity that would be transported through in high 400-kilovolt powers up to Chalinze and Segera distribution centers in Coast region, where it will be connected to the national grid according to work plan.
Each turbine will have the capacity to restore 235 megawatts whereas in combination will make a total of 2,115 MW on their completion. The surplus power will be sold to neighboring countries including
Zambia, Rwanda and Burundi.
Tanzania currently produces 1,450 MW of electricity and the additional supplement of 2,115MW from the JNHPP, will see the country produce more power than its current requirements which is a critical ingredient in the envisioned economic transformation.
Under the current development status, trial operations at the site will start in March 2024 so that a month later handing over of the project will have to be finalized to enable Tanzanians enjoy the reliable electricity power supply.
The construction of the project which has taken three years’ time as up to June this year, was signed in
December 2018 and officially commissioned in June 2019 with expectations to start its operation by end of 2022, has reached to a staggering 67.18 percent of its implementation.
The Minister for Energy January Makamba said in an exclusive interview that, “due to slow progress at the site, the government has changed the whole system of supervision and operation whereby as from
now on the construction work will be taking place within 24 hours non-stop regardless of weekends or
The Minister who took charge of the office hardly a year now since his rebound to the new cabinet team in September 2021 noted that, his ministry has taken a bold decision to keep high pace of construction and at the same time cautioned against embezzlement of government funds disbursed to accomplish the project on time.
Earlier, the two governments of Tanzania and that one of Arab Republic of Egypt had earlier agreed to make frequent inspection visits at the project as part of the bilateral agreement during the commissioning of the project bearing in mind the fact that, the project is being constructed by a joint venture of Egyptian companies, Arab Contractors and El Sewedy Electric Co Ltd.
When contacted for comments TANESCO’s Director General Maharage Chande said that, the newly appointed Board members would work in collaboration with stakeholders to solve the existing problems and other crisis facing the project.
The project is expected to transform the country through the generation and supply of reliable electricity for both domestic and industrial use and thus making the country’s manufacturing sector competitive, he affirmed.
Also known as, the Rufiji Hydropower dam project, when completed will be the largest with highest installed capacity in East Africa region and among the largest in Africa comparable to Egypt’s Aswan
High Dam (2100 MW) Mozambique’s Cahora Bassa Dam (2075 MW) and Angola’s Lauca Dam (2069