The Tanzania Geothermal Development Company (TGDC), a subsidiary of the state-owned Tanzania Electric Supply Company (Tanesco), plans to produce 200MWe of geothermal energy by 2025. According to TGDC’s managing director Kato Kabaka, the company is planning to enter into an agreement with a local company to carry out shallow well drilling tests for research purposes on our Kiejo-Mbaka project in Busokelo council, Rungwe district, Mbeya region.
Tanzania has more than 50 sites that have the potential to generate electricity from geothermal energy. These sites are located in the regions of Mbeya, Arusha, Dodoma, Iringa, Coast, Kilimanjaro, Kagera, Katavi, Shinyanga, Morogoro, Mwara, Manyara, Rukwa, Singida, Songwe and Tanga. As with its Kenyan neighbour, Tanzania is expected to rely on public-private partnerships (PPPs) to exploit its geothermal potential estimated at 5,000 MWe by the TGDC.
Exploiting the 5000MWe geothermal energy potential
The plan to exploit the 5000MWe geothermal energy potential is very ambitious for Tanzania, which has invested heavily in hydropower in recent years. The success of the plan proposed by the TGDC will certainly diversify Tanzania’s electricity mix. Diversification of the electricity mix is necessary in Tanzania, as in most East African countries, where drought reduces the flow of rivers.
The TGDC plan covers several geothermal sites in Tanzania, including Ngozi in the Mbeya and Songwe regions, Kiejo-Mbaka in the Mbeya region, Natron in the Arusha region and Luhoi in the coastal region.
In recent years, the TGDC has concentrated its development efforts on the Ngozi site, which is considered very promising. With a global investment estimated at US $821m the Ngozi site will allow the production of 600MWe in several phases. Recently, the authorities allocated more than US $8.7m to the project to build a geothermal power plant at Ngozi. This investment has been used to purchase drilling rigs for the development of geothermal wells at the project site.