8 January 2008 – A marine cable, which will connect Pemba Island’s electricity with the Tanzanian mainland, is being considered.
The MV Condor is currently surveying the 70 km stretch where the cable will be laid. Pemba island has, until now, produced electricity from three thermal generators with a capacity of 4MW.
However, a study was conducted by Norwegian company, Norplan, for using the undersea cable as a more reliable and cost effective alternative. Additionally, Norplan will undertake the procurement and supervision of the installation of the 33kv cable and substations at Tanga on the mainland and Wesha on Pemba.
The study and connection project, sponsored by the Norwegian government, is estimated to cost US$45 million. It will, also, alleviate the current power deficit experienced by Pemba and allow for the money used for maintenance of the generators to be diverted to other areas.
Mr Tahir Abdullah, director of planning with Zanzibar’s ministry of energy, reported that the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) undertaken by Norplan was ‘positive’.
"The EIA report shows that the project poses no danger to marine life or commercial activities along the channel," he assured.