TANZANIA: TANESCO joins forces with Masdar to produce 2 GW of clean energy

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TANZANIA: TANESCO joins forces with Masdar to produce 2 GW of clean energy©Tanesco

In Tanzania, the state-owned Tanzania Electric Supply Company (TANESCO) has agreed with Masdar of the United Arab Emirates to jointly produce 2 GW of clean energy, including solar photovoltaic plants with a combined capacity of 600 MWp. The project will help meet the growing demand for electricity in this East African country where only 39% of the population has access to electricity.

Tanzania aims to achieve an electrification rate of 75% by 2035. To achieve this, the government of this East African country is counting on private investors. In this context, the state-owned Tanzania Electric Supply Company (TANESCO), which is in charge of electricity distribution, recently signed an agreement with the Dubai-based energy company Masdar in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The partnership covers the joint development of renewable energy projects with a total capacity of 2 gigawatts (GW), including 600 MWp of solar photovoltaic in the first phase.

Masdar and TANESCO are working together to support the energy transition and provide a clean path for growth in Tanzania,” says Abdulla Zayed, Masdar’s head of business development and investments. According to the Tanzanian Minister of Energy, January Makamba, the project will connect many Tanzanians to the national power grid.

The UAE company Masdar is active in 40 countries, including Mauritania, Egypt, Morocco and Tanzania. In this East African country, the demand for energy is constantly growing, particularly in the regions of Dodoma, Singida, Shinyanga, Mwanza, Simiyu, Njombe and Iringa, where demographic growth goes hand in hand with industrialisation.

The proliferation of PPAs

According to a 2015 report by the International Energy Agency (IEA), Tanzania is 66% dependent on natural gas and oil for its electricity generation. To diversify the national electricity mix, the Tanzanian government is increasingly banking on hydroelectricity and solar energy. It is in this context that TANESCO, under the supervision of the Energy and Water Regulatory Authority (EWURA) of Tanzania, signed 19.16 MW power purchase agreements (PPAs) with six independent power producers (IPPs) in Tanzania in 2015.

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These include Nishati Lutheran Investment which is implementing a 36kW hydropower project at Ijangala Falls in Makete, also Madope Hydro which is implementing the 1.7MW Madope hydropower project on the Madope River, as well as SSI Energy Tanzania which is building a 10MWp solar power plant in Kahama and Lung’ali Natural Resources which is implementing the Maguta hydropower project (1.2MW) on the Lukosi River Falls in Kilolo. Most of these private companies have started commercialising their output since 2020 and will eventually increase Tanzania’s current capacity of 1,500 MW to 10,000 MW by 2025.

Benoit-Ivan Wansi

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