Posted on :Thursday , 3rd August 2023
A new USD60 million loan by the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) and partners is expected to significantly strengthen energy security in northwest Tanzania.
The project will include constructing a 166 km overhead transmission line connecting the Kagera region to the national grid, replacing the current energy supply from Uganda with local hydropower resources.
Tanzania has enormous potential in the field of renewable energy. As one of the countries bordering Lake Victoria, fed by the Kagera River, Tanzania is investing heavily in expanding its hydropower capacity with plants under development at Rusumo and Kakono in its north-western region.
The two new hydropower plants are expected to be operational in 2024 and 2030 with a nominal capacity of 80 MW and 87 MW, respectively.
The construction of the new transmission line will allow Tanzania to reduce its dependence on energy imports. This diversification will enhance energy security and save costs by eliminating the need to pay for imports in foreign currency. Furthermore, the expansion of hydropower generation will allow the country to shut down expensive and polluting backup thermal power plants, leading to a cleaner and cheaper energy sector in Tanzania.
With the regional economy dominated by agriculture, the improved power supply will allow other sectors to establish themselves in the region and help to fulfil its potential.
The OPEC Fund signed its 1st engagement in Tanzania in 1977 and to date has approved more than $400 million for investment in all major sectors of the economy. In particular, recent loans have supported water, road and infrastructure projects.