Severe drought hits hydro plants cutting power production in Tanzania
Tanzania has cut its power generation by up to 250 megawatts, resulting in electricity rationing, after water levels in its hydro dams dropped following a drought, the energy ministry said on Wednesday.
Businesses say frequent power outages are hurting productivity and are a barrier to growth in East Africa’s No. 2 economy.
“We initially had a deficit of around 450 megawatts, but have reduced it to between 200 and 250 megawatts after switching on new power generators,” the energy ministry said in a statement.
“We need to generate 1,332 megawatts of electricity to avoid power cuts, but the current total power output is just 719 MW.”
The ministry said power generation at five hydro power stations had been drastically cut, while a sixth hydro power plant was shut down due to prolonged drought.
The government said it expects power supply to stabilise from Oct. 20 when more gas-fired power turbines are switched on.
Last week Tanzania inaugurated a $1.33 billion project to pipe natural gas to its commercial capital, Dar es Salaam, and help relieve chronic power shortages in the city, which consumes more than half of the country’s total electricity supply.
The 532 km Mtwara-Dar es Salaam pipeline and gas processing plants, largely financed by a Chinese loan, is part of a plan to add about 2,000 megawatts of new gas-fired electricity generating power by 2018 to increase Tanzania’s generating capacity to 10,000 MW by 2025.
Most new plants will be gas-fired but Tanzania also wants to use coal reserves and renewable resources such as wind and geothermal as part of a campaign to wean itself off hydropower.
Courtesy of citizentv.co.ke