Tanzania Powers Up: Nyerere Hydropower Launches

Mega Project Injects 235MW, Slashes Power Cuts by 85%

by Ikeoluwa Juliana Ogungbangbe
Julius Nyerere Hydropower Project

The Julius Nyerere Hydropower Project in Tanzania, a monumental venture in the realm of renewable energy, has made a grand entrance into the national energy scene by injecting an initial 235MW into the country’s power grid. This significant development is poised to revolutionize Tanzania’s energy supply, promising to slash power outages by an impressive 85% and heralding a new era of energy abundance for the entire East African region.

The project’s unveiling was met with widespread acclaim at the 16th Meeting of the Sectoral Council of Ministers on Energy held in Arusha, where East African leaders praised the initiative’s potential to address the electricity deficit across the region comprehensively. Tanzania’s Minister of Water, Energy and Minerals, Shaib Hassan Kaduara, highlighted the project’s ambitious capacity to generate 2,115MW, underscoring its pivotal role in bolstering regional energy security.

Minister of Energy Doto Biteko, during a site visit, underscored the project’s immediate benefits, asserting that the initial supply of 235MW would substantially mitigate power rationing issues. With plans to introduce an additional 235MW by mid-March, the government is confidently steering towards a future where power interruptions are a rarity.

The activation of Turbine 8, with Turbine 9 scheduled to follow suit, marks significant progress towards the project’s completion. This hydropower plant, once fully operational, will not only be a cornerstone of Tanzania’s power master plan but also a key player in the broader vision of interconnecting the power grids of Tanzania with neighboring countries including Kenya, Uganda, and Zambia.

Boasting a total capacity of 2,115MW upon completion, the Nyerere Dam will stand as a testament to Tanzania’s commitment to sustainable energy development. With nine vertical turbines, each capable of producing 235MW, it ranks as the fourth largest dam in Africa and the ninth largest globally. Situated across the Rufiji River, within the Selous Game Reserve in the Morogoro Region, the dam’s strategic location is pivotal for power generation, flood control, and environmental conservation.

This landmark project is the result of a collaborative effort between Egyptian firms The Arab Contractors and El Sewedy Electric Co, alongside the Tanzania Electric Supply Company Limited (TANESCO). It epitomizes a holistic approach to energy generation, marrying the goals of power supply augmentation with environmental stewardship and flood management.

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