Tanzania signs EPC contract for 50MW solar plant
Contract with Sinohydro Corp to construct first phase of 150MW solar power project. The plant will be located in Kishapu, with planned connection to existing 220 kV line; Tanzania's first grid-connected solar plant
Tanzania's Ministry of Energy, through the Tanzania Electricity Organization (TANESCO), earlier this week, signed an engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract with Chinese firm Sinohydro Corporation to construct the first phase of a 150MW solar power project. The plant will be located in Kishapu, about 120km from the capital Dodoma.
According to TANESCO's Executive Director Maharage Chande, this first phase will comprise constructing a 50MW solar PV plant, a 33/220kV substation, and its subsequent connection to the existing Singida-Shinyanga 220 kV High Voltage line. In the second phase, the remaining 100MW will be deployed. The entire project cost is about $118 million.
In 2021, the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) agreed to provide Tanzania with a €130 million ($140 million) loan. These funds will finance the construction of the first phase of the plant as well as other transmission and distribution infrastructure upgrades.
According to the AFD, the other component will finance the transformation of TANESCO's transmission network into a "smart grid" and enable the deployment of a Distribution Control Center with a Distribution Management System in Dodoma, Arusha, Mwanza, and Mbeya.
Mr. Chande notes that the first phase of the solar plant will cost about $46 million and will be completed in 12 months. When completed, this will be the second-largest solar PV plant in East Africa and Tanzania's first grid-connected solar plant. French firm JV Artelia and Tanzania’s Energiovida will both serve as advising contractors for the project.
At the contract signing, the Minister for Energy, January Makamba, noted that the Solar Project's implementation reflects the government's effort to create a healthy electricity mix in the national grid. He added that to increase clean energy production further, the government is developing a new renewable energy policy that will promote investment in the sector.
Tanzania to ramp up energy generation
Tanzania generates its power mainly from fossil fuels and hydro sources and imports power from Uganda and Zambia to meet demand. According to IRENA, in 2020 the country generated about 7,975 GWh of electricity, of which 43 percent was from renewable sources.
It is constructing the Julius Nyerere Hydropower Station, which is expected to be completed next year and increase its clean energy generation capacity by 2.1GW, generating about 5,900GWh annually.
However, longer dry seasons in the region are impacting hydroelectricity generation. Increasing climate change will reduce the energy these hydropower plants generate even more. Tanzania is looking to deploy solar and wind power plants to mitigate this impact and complement hydropower production. Tanzania has set a target of producing 6GW from clean energy by 2025.
Energy & Utilities reported last week that Presidents Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and Samia Suluhu of Tanzania commissioned the Kikagati-Murongo hydropower project. E&U reported earlier this month on Tanzania's Kakono Hydropower Plant supported by finance from AfDB.
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