Image Credit: xLibber
President John Magufuli of Tanzania marked the beginning of construction of the Rufiji power plant Hydropower Project (RHPP) at Stiegler’s Gorge by laying the foundation stone. The Arab Contractors Company along with and Elsewedy Electric Company as joint venture partners were officially handed over the area around the 2,115-MW Rufiji hydro project by the government. The Arab Contractors Company received the contract to design and construct this power plant in October 2018.
“Today we save the people of Tanzania from shortage of power. Our envisaged industrial economy needs adequate, cheap and reliable power supply through hydro-generation. This project has stalled for many years. We will build it with our own money,” – President Magufuli.
The construction of the facility will involve building a main dam and associated structures as well as the power plant itself. the expected reservoir length of 100 km, covering an area totalling about 1,350 square km. The dam will stand about 134 meters high once completed, it will be the fourth largest in Africa and the ninth largest in the world. The power plant which is being built for Tanesco (the Tanzania Electric Supply Company). The massive project will upon completion more than triple the current installed hydropower capacity in Tanzania, currently at 562 MW. At an estimated cost of US $1.38b the project is set to be completed in 2022.
The Tanzanian shadow minister for energy John Mnyika said the project is costly and will have an adverse economic impact. Commenting in parliament he said construction of the power plant could take nine to 12 years, against the government’s insistence that it is a three-year project. He also envisages costs are likely to jump from the already costly US $1.38 bn to US $9.8bn prior to completion. At $9.8bn, its unlikely to be of net benefit to Tanzania.