Construction of first of the four mini-grids in Tanzania has begun from last week. This is according to the three companies undertaking the project. The Ruaha Power mini-grids will be constructed and installed in Kilosa District and Morogoro region in the country. The power from these mini-grids will be distributed and sold to clients at pre-payment terms.
The four Malolo mini-grids will generate a total of 300kw. Each mini-grid will be expected to provide 75Kw to serve 2, 500 customers of the residential, commercial, and light industrial types. Construction will be undertaken by International Energy Investment Company, Continental Energy Corporation and the latter’s affiliate in Tanzania, Ruaha River Power Company Ltd.
The first phase of the Ruaha Power project is expected to complete by end of first quarter of 2015, at the same time when delivery of power from the project is expected. Civil works and construction of first powerhouse and office has started. These are expected to be completed by end of this year. during this phase, first embedded generators, a 25kW hybrid biomass gasifier and a 25kW diesel generation plant will be installed and commissioned. The phase also involves construction/setting up of a four kilometers of low voltage distribution network to serve four hundred subscribers. The network will be constructed to standards that allow connection to national grid.
Waiting list customer subscription – from a list of 400 people – has already begun.
For the purpose of Phase I, the first generator house will be constructed on a 21,500 square-foot site near near the village of Malolo. This land has already been acquired. According to reports, power line easements have also been arranged.
Phase II of the Ruaha power project will involve completing a hybrid biomass/solar PV/ diesel powered Mini-Grid by adding a solar PV capacity.
Ruaha Power was also planning to have these phases replicated for the rest of the villages one after the other. The company was also conducting a visibility study for development of a run-of-river 25MW hydropower sites on Tanzania’s Lukosi River, which would be hooked to the grid.