Tanzania begins construction of US $1.38bn Rufijii hydropower plant
Tanzania marked the beginning of construction of Rufiji power plant Rufiji Hydropower Project (RHPP) at Stiegler’s Gorge with President John Magufuli laying the foundation stone.
The government officially handed over the area around the 2,115-MW Rufiji hydro project to joint venture contractors Arab Contractors Company and Elsewedy Electric Company. Arab Contractors received a contract to design and construct the dam and 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 hydrogeneration. This project has stalled for many years. We will build it with our own money,” said President Magufuli.
Rufiji power plant
Construction of the facility will involve building a main dam and appurtenant structures, with expected reservoir length of 100 km, covering an area of about 1,350 square km. The dam height is about 134 meters. The dam will be fourth largest in Africa and ninth in the world.
The power plant which is being built for the Tanzania Electric Supply Company Limited (Tanesco), upon completion will will more than triple the country’s current installed hydropower capacity of 562 MW. The project will cost an estimated US $1.38b and is set to be completed in 2022.
Shadow minister for energy John Mnyika however said the project is costly and will have an adverse economic impact. He said in parliament that construction of the power plant could take nine to 12 years, contrary to the government’s insistence that it is a three-year project. He pointed out that costs are likely to jump from US $1.38 bn to US $9.8bn as a result of cost overruns.