TANGA, TANZANIA-- The government of Sweden is providing 66 billion Tanzanian shillings (about 29.2 million US dollars) to finance the rehabilitation of the Hale Power Station in Tanga Region (Province) in northern Tanzania, says the Swedish Ambassador to Tanzania, Katarina Rangnitt.

The ambassador said during a visit to this region here this week that the long diplomatic relationship between the two countries encouraged her government to continue participating in and supporting Tanzania in executing various development projects, including rehabilitation of the hydro-electric power project.

She added that the long established diplomatic relationship and the industrialization drive policy now underway in Tanzania were the major factors which had influenced the Swedish government to finance the project which would take three years to complete.

Rangnitt said the Swedish government had been attracted by President John Magufuli's industrialization policy and in order to support his efforts, her government had decided to finance the project because energy is crucial to any country's development programmer, including Tanzania's as it gears up to implement its industrial policy.

The Commissioner of Tanga Region, Martine Shigela, said the rehabilitation of the power plant would help to speed up the government's efforts in building and developing industries. Tanga is among important regions which need to revive and develop industries, he added.

I would like to thank the Swedish government for agreeing to finance the project which will boost up our efforts and thus realize industrialization, he said.

Hale Power Plant Manager Steven Mahemba said the power plant was built in 1962 by the then British colonial administration with a capacity to generate 21 megawatts (MW) of electricity but was currently able to generate only between four and eight MW because its machineries were old and dilapidated.

The plant has been facing a lot of challenges, including poor infrastructures, which have led to poor power generation, he said. "The rehabilitation of the plant will retain the power to its normal generation of 21 MW."