24 March 2010 – Tanesco, Tanzania’s state-run power utility, said it began rationing electricity across the country last week after generators at four power plants in the East African nation broke down.

Homes and industries will go without electricity for at least four hours a day, Stephen Mabada, Acting Managing Director of the Dar es Salaam-based company, said in a faxed statement.

Power supplies to the national grid have dropped because of problems at the Kidatu, Kihansi and Pangani hydropower plants and the Ubungo gas-powered facility. The hydropower plants produce a combined 552 megawatts of electricity, according to the company’s Web site.

“The effects of reduced supply make power rationing inevitable especially during peak hours between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.,” Mabada said. “A comprehensive timetable for power rationing will be released later.”

Tanzania is Africa’s fourth-largest gold producer after South Africa, Ghana and Mali, according to the GFMS Gold Survey.  Barrick Gold Corp., the world’s biggest producer of the metal, has four mines in Tanzania, while Resolute Mining Ltd. owns the Gold Pride mine in the country.