Japan begins work on Tanzania’s biggest power plant
Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation has begun work on a $300m gas-fired power station in Tanzania that will increase the country’s generating capacity by 15%.
The 240MW Kinyerezi combined cycle plant will be the largest in the country, and the first to use natural gas.
The Japanese project team, which also includes Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems and Toshiba Plant Systems and Services, will build the plant for the Tanzania Electric Supply Company (Tanesco) on a turnkey contract.
Sumitomo Corporation will act as main contractor will coordinate all commercial affairs, Mitsubishi will provide six H-25 gas turbines and generators and Toshiba will supply heat recovery boilers, steam turbines and undertake civil and installation works.
Sumitomo commented on its website that the power plant “will feature high-efficiency gas power generation that will help alleviate Tanzania’s power shortages”.
The construction site is about 30km southwest of Dar es Salaam. Work is scheduled to begin partial operations at the beginning of 2018 and to be handed over to Tanesco in September 2018.
Although Tanzania’s economy has been growing at around 7% for the past decade, it has done so despite a grossly inadequate generating capacity of about 1.6GW and a distribution system that misses 80% of the rural population.
It is also over-reliant on drought-prone hydropower. Dams usually provide about 560MW of the country’s power, but in December that fell to 110MW owing to a lack of water to turn the turbines.
Tanzania’s government last year launched an electricity supply “roadmap” that set the target of increasing the present installed capacity of 1.6GW to 10.8GW by 2025, largely by building more gas and coal plants.
The government of Tanzania is hoping to attract private investors from around the world to help build the country’s basic power infrastructure.