1 June 2009 – A new 134 km high voltage transmission line extending state-owned Tanzania Electric Supply Company’s (TANESCO) existing network and an expansion of prepayment in Tanzania’s capital Dar es Salaam are among the elements of the new Tanzania Energy Development and Access Expansion Project (TEPAD).

The new HV line is to be constructed by a consortium of SAE Power Lines and Associated Transrail Structures of Milan, Italy. When completed, it is expected to serve some 25,000 new customers.

TANESCO plans to roll out approximately 95,000 new prepayment meters. Of these 60,000 prepayment meters will be provided as replacement for credit meters for existing customers. In addition a further 35,000 new customers will be provided with prepayment metering – 25,000 through the HV grid expansion, and 10,000 through the conversion of an existing low voltage distribution system to a high voltage configuration.

In addition it is planned to roll out 1,800 remote reading solid state meters to high value commercial and industrial customers and for deployment on 33 kV and 11 kV distribution feeders in order to regularise these customers and to improve energy monitoring and auditing.

The objective of the TEPAD, which is just getting under way, is to improve the quality and efficiency of electricity service provision in Dar es Salaam as well as the country’s two other main growth centres, Arusha and Kilimanjaro, and to establish a sustainable basis for energy access expansion.

The three components of the project are a grid component focusing on urgent investments in TANESCO’s transmission and distribution network, an off-grid component to support an institutional set-up for the newly established Rural Energy Agency (REA) and to develop and test new off-grid electrification approaches, and a technical assistance component for training and other capacity building activities in TANESCO and within the government.

The project should lead to an improvement in TANESCO’s operational efficiency with a reduction of losses, currently around 24 percent, to below 17 percent and an improvement in revenue collection, as well as an improvement in the quality of service. In addition a centralised call center is planned in Dar es Salaam to improve customer relations.

The TEPAD project, which is being supported by the World Bank, has a cost of US$111.5 million and is due for completion in early 2012.