The World Bank Group has approved US $440m credit to boost access to power for Tanzania’s southern regions and connect the country to regional power trade.
According to Ms Nataliya Kulichenko, World Bank senior Energy specialist who is also the task team leader of the project,the funding would facilitate the overhaul of Tanesco’s grid to enhance its reliability to the level of technical standards, required for trading power with the country’s neighbours in the South and North.
The credit will finance construction of critical high voltage transmission infrastructure that will support the electrification of the Southern and Northwestern regions and establish cross-border transmission capacity connecting Tanzania with the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) and the Eastern Africa Power Pool (EAPP).
“The construction of high voltage transmission infrastructure is vital for Tanzania’s interconnection with the regional power markets of Southern and Eastern Africa,” said Nataliya.
Furthermore, Ms Bella Bird, the World Bank Country director for Tanzania, Malawi, Burundi and Somalia, said the project is built on the great potential of the country’s Southern regions to contribute to the generation of jobs and drive overall economic growth, with the right infrastructure in place.
“Financial benefits will also accrue from a reduction in Tanesco’s operating costs due to improved infrastructure and ability to engage in regional power trade. There are direct benefits to businesses and households with additional advantages of improved reliability of power supply to the SAGCOT, which is in the route,” she said.
The new International Development Association (IDA) credit is solely Tanzania’s allocation as part of the Tanzania-Zambia Transmission Inter connector Project (Taza).IDA helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programmes that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives.