TANESCO logo Pic credit: Mpekuzi
TANESCO logo Pic credit: Mpekuzi
pic credit: The Standard
Tanzanian President, John Pombe Magufuli. Pic credit: The Standard

Earlier this month, the Tanzania Electric Supply Company (TANESCO), announced that tariffs will be raised by 8.53%. This decision subsequently resulted in the firing of its MD, Felchesmi Mramba, Africa News reported.

With country efforts focused on developing the industrial sector, Tanzanian President, John Pombe Magufuli, sacked the utility MD claiming that "the tariff hikes would stunt his plans to industrialise the east African country.”

The presidency announced his decision in a statement that read: “It’s unacceptable that while we are making plans to build manufacturing industries and ensure more citizens have access to electricity…someone else uses his position to increase power tariffs”.

The President has since reversed the suggested tariff increase, according to media.

TANESCO to drive secure network

According to media, Magufuli has appointed a lecturer at the state-run University of Dar es Salaam, Tito Esau Mwinuka, as acting managing director of the utility.

“About 40% of Tanzania’s population of around 50 million has access to electricity and the government is aiming to push that rate up to 75% by 2025,” Africa News said.

Energy alternatives

With efforts focused on turning the sector around, South Korea has shown a vested interest.

In December last year, the Tanzanian deputy permanent secretary in the ministry of energy and minerals, Dr Juliana Pallangyo, announced that the government of South Korea intends to open a centre for renewable energy technology at Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology in Arusha, Tanzania.

The centre, scheduled for early 2017, is aimed at developing energy solutions in the country.

“Korean people will open a centre that will provide studies and solutions on providing sustainable energy,” Dr Pallangyo said.

In November, ESI Africa reported that a consortium consisting of Shell, Pavilion Energy and Ophir Energy, announced that gas drilling off the coast of Tanzania had begun.

The $80 million investment project will cover two wells in Block 1 and 4, located in the offshore Mafia deep basin, southern Tanzania.

The development of Blocks 1 and 4 is said to form part of the Tanzania Liquefied Natural Gas Project under the Vision 2025 economic plan.