The government on Tuesday (3rd April) affirmed that construction of the mega Stiegler’s Gorge power project will start before July this year.
The news from the responsible minister, Dr Medard Kalemani, comes after the State opened the bids for the 2100MW hydropower project in August last year and its construction will last for 36 months.
The project is expected to end electricity woes in the country and drive the industrialisation process. It will see the construction of the largest dam along the Rufiji River in the Selous Game Reserve.
He noted this during an event to launch the Kinyerezi II gas power generating plant in Dar es Salaam. President John Magufuli graced the launching. The construction work of the project, worth 344 million US dollars (758bn/), started in 2016 by the SUMITOMO contractor.
The 85 per cent of the funds (292.4 million US dollar) was secured under a soft loan agreement with the Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, and the government has financed the remaining 15 per cent of the total cost.
Dr Kalemani explained that the Kinyerezi II project was completed 45 days prior to the deadline, attributing success to the push from the President himself who directed the Ministry and Tanzania Electric Supply Company (TANESCO) to ensure the project is finished early. Furthermore, the readiness of the government to disburse funds timely, largely contributed to speed construction as it paid all 51.6 million US dollars in a lump sum.
“This had given us more impetus to finish the project before the set deadline,” Dr Kalemani stated. The Kinyerezi II followed the completion of Kinyerezi I in March 2015, noting that they are now working on finishing Kinyerezi I extension project to produce 185 MW. The government has committed 188 million US dollars to implement the Kinyerezi I extension project which is expected to be completed next January.