Large parts of Kagera, Geita and Kigoma regions in North-West Tanzania are not connected to the national grid and display an electrification rate of less than 5%. Traditional biomass accounts for around 90% of primary energy supply resulting in severe deforestation. TANESCO presently runs two diesel-powered mini-grids that serve the district towns of Kibondo and Biharamulo/Chato with electricity. The production suffers from high operating costs and CO2-emissions with negative effects for the environment. The lack of reliable power supply poses a significant barrier to the socio-economic development of a fast growing region with significant economic potential in agriculture and mining. The project comprises the construction of a new 220 kV transmission line from Geita to Nyakanazi, the extension and construction of the respective substations, rural electrification in the vicinity of the transmission line and substations, and associated consulting services.
The rural electrification component financed by the EU ITF is a prerequisite to enhance access for households, small- and medium-sized businesses and social institutions to sustainable, reliable and affordable energy services for productive and consumptive use. This can act as a catalyst to stimulate socioeconomic development, employment creation and improved social service delivery in a fast growing region. The reduced reliance on fuel wood for lighting and use of diesel will decrease deforestation pressures and CO2 emissions with positive climate effects and significant cost savings. Following the selection of the implementation consultant in an internationally competitive process and the signing of the consulting contract in August 2015 the implementation of the project has recently started. The next steps and approximate timing are:
• Finalization of detailed design, environmental and social studies, tender for construction works until Q4 2016
• Start of construction works in Q2 2017
• End of construction works and commissioning in Q2 2019