ENERGY Minister Dr Medard Kalemani yesterday asked for a 27 per cent budgetary increase to accommodate all major power projects that seek to amplify the country’s industrialisation drive.

Dr Kalemani tabled the 2.142tri/- budget estimates for the 2019/20 fiscal year, which is up by 26.6 per cent from this year’s 1.692tri/- budget.

The minister attributed the increase to the government’s decision to execute three strategic power projects, including construction of 2,115 MW Rufiji Hydro Power project.

Tabling the budget, Dr Kalemani said 1.86tri/- will be spent on the three projects, covering 95.1 per cent of the local funding.

Dr Kalemani told the National Assembly here that Rufiji Hydro Power project has been allocated 1.44tri/- while the third rural electrification project has 363.11bn/- and Kinyerezi I’s 185MW natural gas extension has been allocated 60bn/-.

For Rufiji Hydro Power project, Dr Kalemani said the 1.44tri/- will be spent on construction of the main dam and spillways, tunnels and completion of the Kv33 from Gongo la Mboto.

He said that the government intends to generate 10,000 MW by 2025 as well as create conducive environment for reliable power supply to support the country’s envisaged industrial driven economy.

The Rufiji Hydro Power project- Stiegler’s Gorge- which will cost 2.9 billion US dollars (about 6.5tri/-), is scheduled for completion by 2022.

The minister said the government is proud of the Rufiji project, which is ranked 60th among the 70 major hydro projects in the world and the fourth largest in Africa and the first in East Africa.

He described the project as great milestone as the country aspires becoming a middle income nation through industrial based economy. He named other priority areas as rural electrification through the Rural Energy Authority’s (REA) third phase that will cover all the remaining 1,990 villages.

Outlining some of the successes in the past three years, the minister said since independence only 2,018 villages in the Mainland had power but the government managed to overturn the table, electrifying 7,012 villages in the past few years.

Dr Kalemani said for the past three years, the country recorded tremendous success in the energy sector by embarking on major energy projects, which focus on PAGE 2 addressing industrial challenges.

“We are undertaking major power projects like Rufiji, Rusumo and Kinyerezi and after their completion, we will have the best power tariff in the region,” said Dr Kalemani.

He said Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) is supplying industries with natural gas energy, adding that some industries in Dar es Salaam are already using the natural energy.

Giving plans on natural gas for domestic uses, the minister said TPDC has started with Dar es Salaam whose charcoal use is almost 90 per cent.

“We have decided to start with Dar es Salaam to conserve our environment and forest, gas will be sold at an affordable price, we directed TPDC to ensure that price is half of charcoal’s,” Dr Kalemani elaborated.

Source: Daily News