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4 November 2008 – A proposed revamp of the Tanzanian electricity industry is estimated to cost US$1.5 billion dollars over the next five years.  Speaking in Dar es Salaam, Dr Idris Rashid, managing director of the Tanzanian state utility, Tanesco, said the company had recently experienced serious power shortages due to the failure of three units at Songas.

With energy demand at 13GWh/day currently, up from 12GWh/day for the same time last year, and peak demand of700MW, up from 653MW last year, Dr Rashid said installed capacity of 600MW was insufficient to meet the peak demand, and increases of 10% are forecast for the next few years.

“All these levels have been reached under suppressed demand conditions with installed power capacity inadequate to meet electricity demand,” he said.

The Tanzanian Power System Master Plan predicts power shortages up to 2012 and Dr Rashid is calling for the installation of thermal generation in the short term to meet increasing demand.  The utility is also considering other options of sourcing short term power generation capacity.  Additional capacity hampering challenges include the limitations of the Songo Songo gas processing plant which is limited to a capacity of 700 million units per day – enough for about 240MW of power.  With demand already at the peak, plans are in place to increase capacity to 105 million units a day – which will increase power generation capacity to 430MW.

The 45MW Tegeta gas fired power station should be operational in 2009 and Tanesco is working to develop a 250MW gas fired power plant in Dar es Salaam, “as soon as possible but not later than 2012.”