This is the stretch
of the Rufiji river that
has been earmarked
as a probable site for
the Stiegler’s Gorge
hydroelectric project
in Tanzania
 
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 01 December 2011 – Development stakeholders in Tanzania have been urged to cooperate and work diligently to ensure that the envisaged Stiegler’s Gorge hydroelectric project becomes a reality which will boost the country’s power sector.

Talking to journalists in the coastal region, Rufiji Basin Development Authority (RUBADA), board chairman Raphael Mwalyosi commended the government for the initiative which had been delayed since 1980s.

“This project is long overdue,” he said after visiting the project area with senior officials from RUBADA and Brazilian investors.

Mwalyosi pointed out that once the 2,100MW project was completed, it would bring huge relief to the nation’s continuing search for reliable power supply. “Let the government implement this project and forget about where to find reliable sources of power,” he said.

RUBADA board member Aldo Lupala said Stiegler’s gorge was a God-given treasure that Tanzania could not allow to sit idle “’ it should be used for the benefit of the nation.

The Rufiji Basin has the potential to produce 4,000MW of power, but the current demand stands at 1,500MW against actual production of slightly above 1,000MW.

Last week, a team of experts from Odebrecht Company Limited, a Brazilian firm that is interested in undertaking the project, visited the gorge and other parts of river Rufiji for the
second time.

According to Masanja, the final experts’ report is expected to come out before the end of this year, and the MoU between the company and RUBADA on behalf of the government is expected to be signed by mid January, 2012. Power production is scheduled to start by 2015.