Tanzania urges foreign companies to invest in the country's vast energy market

Oct 06, 1999 02:00 AM

Tanzania has urged foreign companies to invest in the country's vast energy market. Deputy Minister of Energy and Minerals Manju Msambya told the East African Power Industry Convention here that Tanzania has harnessed only 10 % of an estimated hydroelectric power potential of 4,780 MW.
Gas fields on the Songo Songo island have proven recoverable reserves of about 1 tcf while Mnazi bay in the Mtwara Region in the south has similar quantities of gas.
In order to exploit coal resources of about 1 bn tons lying in southern regions, the government plans to build a 200 MW power plant near the Mchuchuma coal mine, Msambya said.
According to media reports, the deputy minister said so far only 10 % of more than 30 mm people in the country have access to electricity. "Tanzania is committed to undertaking reforms in the power sector and encourages private sector role in development and operation of the power industry. Potential investors should take advantage of the reforms," he said.

The Tanzanian government plans to provide electricity to 40 % of the population by the year 2015 under a new power industry structure mainly managed by the private sector, he said. The deputy minister said the present vertically integrated utility will be divided into generation, transmission and distribution segments.
At present, the state-owned Tanzania Electric Supply Company (TANESCO) produces about 98 % of the 600 MW generated in the country while the remaining 2 % are produced by the private sector. Outlining investment potentials, Msambya said power demand was expected to grow at an annual rate of 8 % up to the year 2015.
The forum attracted over 200 delegates from Australia, Canada, Germany, Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, Uganda, Britain, the United States, Zimbabwe and the World Bank.

Source: Xinhua via Newspage
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