Struggling to end constant power outages on the national grid, Tanzania has decided to pool its resources with neighbouring countries in the eastern and southern Africa reg ion, while continuing with its efforts to mobilise funds for implementing a countrywide power system master plan, Energy and Minera ls Minister William Ngeleja has said.
“By banking on the East African Power Pool (EAPP) and the SADC Power Pool (SAPP) , projects estimated to add up over 8,800 MW to the region’s power grid, Tanzania should be comfortable in electrici ty supply and consign power blues to history,” Ngeleja told the 28th Southern African Power Pool Executive Committee meeting he re.
The two-day meeting has brought together chief executives of the power utilities of the nine member states, power planners, engineers and environment experts to discuss, among other issues, the status of interconne cted grids and a study on financing cross-boarder power projects.
Through the SAPP, member state utilities have identified a number of priority pr ojects for commissioning over the next few years in order to address the crippling energy situation in the region.
Between 2009 and 2013, for example, SAPP expects member utilities to commission projects that would add about 8,800 Megawatts to the regional grid in order to meet the power demand.
Addressing the meeting, Tanzania’s Vice President Ali Mohamed Shein said that di sparities in energy resources and consumption provided a strong rationale for the integration of the sector and for the promotion of re gional energy trade.
Shein observed that the southern Africa countries had an untapped power potentia l of around 100,000 MW in hydropower, thermal, gas and coal while their power demand was approximately 55,000MW. The regional power gen eration capacity currently stands at 48,649MW.
â?The Inga hydropower plant in the DR Congo, transmission interconnections betw een Mozambique and Malawi, Zambia, Tanzania and Kenya should aim at reversing the diminishing generation capacity,â? Shein sugg ested, urging the utilities to ensure that people have equitable access to electricity at affordable prices.