Tanzania has received a $140 million grant from the African Development Bank Group (AfDB), aimed at constructing the 50-megawatt Malagarasi hydropower plant and an evacuation transmission line and adding 4,250 rural electrification connections.
The grant includes a $120 million sovereign loan from AfDB and $20 million from the Africa Growing Together Fund (AGTF). AGTF is a facility sponsored by the People’s Bank of China and administered by AfDB.
The project aims at providing reliable renewable energy to households, schools, clinics and small and medium-sized enterprises in the Kigoma Region.
The project is one of six infrastructure projects, with a total value of $1.12 billion, which the AfDB has approved in Tanzania over the last three years.
Malagarasi Hydropower Station is intended to add 50 MW to the Tanzanian national electricity grid, alongside supplying sustainable, renewable, green energy to Kigoma and surrounding communities, e.g. Uvinza, Kasulu and Buhigwe, which currently get electricity from diesel sources. Any surplus electricity from Malagarasi will be integrated into the national grid at Kidahwe electric substation. Additionally, a new 53 kilometres (33 mi) 132kV high voltage power line from the new power station to the substation at Kidahwe, is a component of this project.
AfDB lists the project’s additional benefits as follows:
- Creating approximately 700 jobs during the construction phase
- Reducing production costs of electricity in the Kigoma Region from $0.33 to about $0.04 per kilowatt-hour
- Reducing use of fossil fuels and the attendant emission of greenhouse gases
- The cost of doing business is expected “to reduce because the industry will no longer need to maintain expensive backup generators