The Prime Minister, Mr Kassim Majaliwa, revealed yesterday that the government has received applications from 52 companies intending to invest in electricity generation projects in the country.
"The government is currently conducting due diligence on these companies to establish those with required competence after which they will be assigned projects to implement," Mr Majaliwa said at the Tanzanian High Commission here during a meeting with Tanzanians living in Zambia on Tuesday evening.
The Premier went on to challenge Tanzanians in Lusaka to convince their associates in the southern African country to consider investing in Tanzania. Mr Majaliwa returned home yesterday from Lusaka where he had gone to represent President John Magufuli at the African Development Bank (AfDB) meeting.
"The government alone cannot implement all projects; we need to partner with the private sector, financial institutions and development partners to carry out such ventures," he explained. Regarding the investors in the electricity sector, the premier stressed that reliable power will facilitate setting up of more factories and enable people to engage in economic activities and eventually boost the economy.
Mr Majaliwa noted that the Fifth Phase Government looks forward to encourage investors to put up power generation plants to produce power for the national grid to check power shortages. The Premier observed that Tanzania was endowed with vast resources to produce power namely natural gas, coal, uranium, hydro-power, biomass and geothermal sources, all awaiting serious tapping.
"The discovery of vast reserves of natural gas in some parts of the country has given us more opportunities given the fact that pipelines have been constructed to transport the resource to Dar es Salaam for power generation, industrial production and domestic use.
"A study is currently underway on how the gas can be piped to homes for cooking. A pilot project has been undertaken in Mikocheni (Dar es Salaam) and we plan to commission another one in Mtwara," Mr Majaliwa reported.
On the other hand, he said, the government plans to encourage use of coal to fuel large industries rather than using electricity or heavy furnace oil as it is the case now. "Some of the industries are now working to convert their plants so that they can start using coal mining of the minerals is in full gear," he explained.
On rural electrification, Mr Majaliwa said over 3,000 out of 12,000 villages in the country have been supplied with power through the Rural Energy Agency (REA). "We started with REA Phase One and proceeded to Stage Two. We are now approaching the third phase.
As we speak, in each ward at least four or five villages have electricity," the premier informed his audience. Meanwhile, African countries have been challenged to work in collaboration to tackle disasters caused by climate change in the continent.
The call was made here on Tuesday during discussions bringing together leaders from Zambia, Chad, Nigeria, Mozambique and Tanzania shortly after the opening of the 51st Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the African Development Bank (AfDB) at the Mulungushi International Conference Centre. Zambian President Edgar Lungu said his country has been striving to supply power in rural areas but held back by shortage of rains to generate electricity.
"Shortage of rains over the past two years has resulted into decreased water levels in Kariba Dam, which produces about 80 per cent of power consumed in Zambia," President Lungu stated
. For his part, Chad President Idriss Derby challenged the AfDB to take a centre stage in facilitating African countries to secure capital to invest in power projects. Nigeria' Vice-President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, said the African continent ought to put more efforts on development projects as it seeks solutions to environmental degradation.
The Prime Minister of Mozambique, Mr Carlos Agostinho do Rosario, said it was high time countries in the continent created a power pool to supply countries with low generation.
Source: Tanzania Daily News