Dar es Salaam. The newly appointed managing director of Tanzania Electric Supply Company (Tanesco), Mr Gissima Nyamo-Hanga, committed yesterday to speed up the ongoing maintenance of power facilities as he strives to address the power crisis.
Tanzania is facing a 400-megawatt shortage on the national grid, which has resulted in power rationing, according to Mr Nyamo-Hanga at Tanesco offices. "We are facing a shortage of electricity caused by several factors, including worn-out power generating stations," he said, noting that the shortage has also been contributed by the increase in electricity demand following improvements in economic activities and reduced water levels due to drought.
section class="teasers-row related-in-content President Samia Suluhu Hassan appointed Mr Nyamo-Hanga the new Tanesco managing director last week to replace Mr Maharage Chande, who is now the Post Master General, after spending only one day at Tanzania Telecommunications Corporation (TTCL). When swearing in new officials, she tasked him with ending the power problems within six months, failure of which may risk his job.
Mr Nyamo-Hanga said yesterday that he will end the crisis in six months after having completed the maintenance of the power plants and the completion of the Julius Nyerere Hydropower Plant, which is expected to generate 2,115 megawatts. According to him, other factors that cause the shortage of power include the ongoing maintenance of the gas-powered plants.
He said maintenance is currently being carried out on some plants, especially those that generate electricity using natural gas at Ubungo and Kinyerezi. "President Samia Suluhu Hassan directed that we solve the situation within six months and per the instructions, we have set several strategies that include the ongoing maintenance at our different plants and electricity-generating stations," he said.
According to him, they were working hand in hand with other stakeholders, including the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC), to end the problem. Mr Nyamo-Hanga said he expects to have done a bigger part of maintenance and therefore regain 100 megawatts into the national grid every month for the next three months.
"We are in the process of completing the implementation of the Julius Nyerere Hydropower Plant, which is now 92 percent complete," he said. According to the Ministry of Energy budget, electricity generation was estimated at 1,872 megawatts through hydropower, natural gas, solar, heavy oil, and other means.
Natural gas and hydropower were the major sources, accounting for 64.04 percent and 3.69 percent, respectively.
The government is achieving its target of generating at least 5,000 megawatts by 2025, as planned in the ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi manifesto. In an attempt to increase the availability, reliability, and quality of grid-based power supply within the country, the government also plans to have a 40/60 renewable/conventional power generation mix by 2025. Eventually, the government desires to have a cost-effective generation mix portfolio by taking advantage of opportunities from available energy sources.
Despite the current dominance of natural gas and hydropower, Tanzania has other largely untapped sources of renewable energy that could be unlocked by investors. Such potentials include wind, hydroelectric, solar, and geothermal.