Rufiji, Tanzania — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 29 November 2011 – Preparations for the implementation of the long-awaited Stieglers Gorge power project in Tanzania are currently in top gear, with the sense of optimism that has followed a second visit by a team of experts from Odebrecht Company Limited, the Brazilian firm that has shown interest in developing the project.
The director-general of the Rufiji Basin Development Authority (Rubada), Aloyce Masanja, told journalists here that the second visit was to collect more data on the viability of the project before signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
The first team of experts visited Tanzania in August this year to make an assessment of the Stieglers Gorge power project and concluded that it was viable, easy to implement, and with the capacity to produce a significant amount of electricity.
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 of Tanzania, is due to be signed before 15 January next year. The project has the potential to produce 2,100MW.
Masanja noted that Rubada believed that the Stieglers Gorge power project would start producing electricity by 2015, bringing huge relief to the ongoing power crisis experienced in the country.
Apart from having projects in various parts of the world, Odebrecht also has ongoing projects in the neighboring countries of Mozambique and Angola.
Once completed, Stieglers Gorge Power Project will occupy 1200 square kilometers of the Selous Game Reserve with 54,000 square kilometers.
According to Masanja, the whole of the Rufiji Basin has the potential to produce 4,000 MW. Currently, Tanzania needs 1500 MW but the country has the capacity to produce only 350MW.
“This is a problem that should be solved immediately for sustainable economic development,” he said.