Alternative options on card to avert power crisis

THE impact of power shedding is expected to lessen with 30 Megawatt of electricity to be fed into the national grid soon, the Deputy Minister for Energy and Mineral, Mr Adam Malima, has said.

He said the 20MW turbine from the independent power producer, Songas, is expected to be in operation on Friday and Hale turbine producing 10MW is expected to start operating soon.

“In Hale, the engineers were completing minor repairs and were supposed to have completed their work between 15th and 16th of this month,” Mr Malima told ‘Daily News’ by phone yesterday.

Songas experts told the Minister for Energy and Mineral, Mr William Ngeleja, yesterday that the 20MW turbine was undergoing tests before they start generating electricity. The minister was inspecting the Songas turbine which is expected to start working by end of this week.

With the 30MW expected to be loaded to the national grid soon, Tanzania Electric Supply Company (TANESCO) will be facing a deficit of 120MW of electricity, which is expected to be cut further with the 60MW expected between November and December, this year.

“Repairs are going very well, I have been told that the machine has been repaired and is undergoing tests before it starts working on Friday,” Mr Ngeleja explained.

The government, he said, was following closely on repairs of all power generating machines to ensure they are back in operation. With Kihansi turbine that produces 60MW expected to be fully repaired and operating between November and December, power load shedding will ease considerably by 90MW.

“Reports from engineers from Norway and Tanesco say repairs are going very well at Kihansi and we expect the turbines to be generating power between November and December", Mr Ngeleja explained.

He said the government has short, medium and long term plans to ensure power crisis was averted in future. These include purchase of the 160MW power generating machines by Tanesco and use of Independent Power Tanzania Limited (IPTL) electricity generating machines.

Mr Ngeleja did not have the price for the soon to be purchased machines by Tanesco, but said the cost of 1MW was sold for between one million US dollars and 1.5 million US dollars, bringing the total cost for the 160MW machines to 200 million US dollars.

“In the short plans we want to ensure that all power generating machines are back in operation to avert losses the government, private sector and the public is experiencing,” he explained.

Mr Ngeleja said intensive discussion between the government and IPTL were underway to have IPTL generators (capable of producing 60MW) to start producing electricity for the national grid.

The deputy minister, however, could not quantify how much the government and business community was losing. But he said the government was looking at all available option of lessening the power crisis.

“The power crisis is causing a big loss to the nation, let alone the industrial sector. We have to look at all options. IPTL is one of the options which we are looking at,” he explained.

Tanesco Executive Director Dr Idris Rashid was outside Dar es Salaam when contacted for comment.

SOURCE: DAILY NEWS

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