Tanzania plans to enter into power trade agreements with East African Community member states after completion of the 400 kilovolt backbone transmission line, set to be completed in the next two years.
Tanzania’s Minister for Minerals and Energy Sospeter Muhongo said last week that the initial phase $453.7 million power project extending for 670 kilometres from Iringa in the southern highlands of the country to Shinyanga on the shores of Lake Victoria, is expected to be complete by 2018.
Prof Muhongo said the government is planning to export electricity to other regional states in East Africa and Southern Africa.
“This power project will feed the Lake Victoria and northern Tanzania zones as we expect to export the surplus to neighbouring countries,” he said.
The double traffic line electricity transmission line is an extension of the 1,600km backbone electricity transmission line.
“This transmission line will ensure Tanzania has adequate power supply to meet its development goals. Our plan is to make the country the power giant of East Africa,” said Prof Muhongo.
When complete, the line will supply 2,000MW to neighbouring regional member states.
The Backbone Transmission Investment Project has been funded by the World Bank ($ 150 million), Africa Development Bank, Japan ($169 million) and the European Investment bank ($134.7 million). Tanzania exports 1MW of power through cross-border connection to Lungalunga town in Kenya, but imports 5MW from both Kenya and Zambia and 9MW from Uganda.
In 2014, Zambia, Tanzania and Kenya signed an MoU to fund a $1.2 billion power inter-connector project that will connect the East African Power Pool to the Southern African Power Pool.
The government plans to invest in the Tanzania Electricity Supply Company over the next 11 years to help improve the investment potential of the utility company.