DRC Hydropower partnership
A hydropower dam. Source: 123rf

Plans are underway to secure the contractor for the 2,100MW Stiegler’s Gorge hydropower project, according to Tanzania’s energy minister, Dr Medard Kalemani.

Kalemani said the process is currently at an advanced stage and within a short period, the ministry will announce the contractor awarded the tender for the project.

Tanzania Daily News reported that the energy minister further revealed that his ministry is fully prepared to implement the project and ensure its early completion.

“My staff at the ministry operate under three principles including agility, precision and discipline… I would, therefore, like to assure those who think it’s a white elephant approach, [that] they are actually wrong,” said Kalemani.

“Let me also assure you that we are well-prepared for the task and nothing is going to hold us back from completing it on time,” he added.

Government opened the bids for the hydropower project in August 2017 and construction is planned to last 36 months. Read more: Tanzania continues to defend Stiegler Gorge power project

He assured the stakeholders that the project is going to involve other ministries in its implementation, in case of any crisis, which will require their attention and support; the ministers will be notified for immediate and timely interventions.

Critics over Stiegler’s Gorge hydropower

Recently, President John Magufuli also assured international organisations that the project will improve the surrounding eco-system rather than hinder it.

“After all, only 3.5% of the total area in the reserve will be used for hydro-electric power generation. However, wildlife will get enough drinking water compared to the past,” he said.