Nigerian company, Egbin Power Plc, has expressed interest to invest 630 million US Dollars (about 1.4trn/-) in construction of a natural gas-fired power plant in Tanzania.
The major boost to the country’s power generation is the newest public-private partnership project expected to turn around the energy sector in the East African nation.
Speaking to journalists on a five-day tour of Nigeria yesterday, the firm’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Dallas Peavey, said the construction of the plant is expected to commence anytime after the company, under Sahara Group, has inked the investment pact with the host government.
“We plan to set-up two plants, each generating 450 MW, all we are awaiting now are the government approval and Tanesco’s (Tanzania Electric Supply Company) proposal,” he stated.
The key pending issues so far include the plant specifications and the specific location to build the plant. The company management has already visited Dar es Salaam six times, holding talks with senior government officials, including the Prime Minister, Mr. Kassim Majaliwa.
Other officials met are Finance and Planning Minister, Dr Philip Mpango, Energy and Minerals Minister, Prof Sospeter Muhongo and TANESCO Managing Director, Mr. Felchesmi Mramba. According to Mr. Peavey, the investment, if approved will take 12 months to complete the first phase.
“We are interested in power generation. We have the expertise and experience from our operations in the United States of America, Argentina, Africa and Europe,” he stated.
The CEO however, decried the government sluggishness in approving the project.
Media reports have it that following the government’s intention to revive industries as the engine of economic growth, there was an initial bidding for power generation early this year. In the bidding, three firms were shortlisted, but to the government disappointment, two of the firms lacked experience in the power sector.
The Lagos-based power company said the funds were available for the Dar es Salaam project, hinting that it had also appointed Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) company to execute the grand project.
Egbin Power Plc, a subsidiary plant of the Nigerian based Sahara Group, runs a 1,320 MW natural gas-fired independent power plant. The acclaimed largest plant in Western and Sub-Saharan Africa was acquired from the federal government in 2014.
The over 700 million US dollar deal has seen the group injecting an additional 400 million US dollars to turn around the dilapidated plant, which at time of acquiring it was producing less than 300 MW.