Tanzania tells public not to worry about power rationing

Nov 01, 2004 01:00 AM

The Tanzanian government has assured the public that there will be no power rationing as it will not close down the country's largest hydropower dam for lack of water.
The assurance was given by the country's energy minister after consultation with Prime Minister Frederick Sumaye.

The water level at the Mtera dam dropped to an all-time low of 690.29 meters while the level of 690 meters is the working permit for the turbines to keep running and generating power. The dropping of the water level at the Mtera dam was caused by the incessant drought even though the short rainy season has already set in.
A close-down of the Mtera dam will only aggravate the country's power supply plight. Tanzania's current national maximum demand of electricity is 500 MW whereas the country's installed generating capacity is 318 MW.

"We agreed to manage the available water in such a way that power generation continues while other demands including agriculture and the environment are catered for," said Energy Minister Daniel Yona.
"At the same time, other available sources of power generation, including gas, would be used."

The minister disclosed that three more gas turbines would be brought in from Europe, to increase the gas fired generation capacity in the country to 300 MW.
Though the east African country is rich in hydropower, Tanzania still has to import electricity to meet its ever-increasing requirement. It imports some 50 mm kWh per year.

Source: Xinhua
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