The 200 MW Ngozi Geothermal Power Station, expandable to 600 MW, is being developed in the Ngozi Crater, approximately 20 kilometers south of the city of Mbeya. Led by TDGC with the close collaboration of TANESCO, MEM, and EWURA. the implementation of the project began back in 2014 with project preparation that included surface studies & land acquisition.
Reportedly, by Dec 2022 the detailed surface exploration for the Ngozi Geothermal Power Station project has already been finished. As a result, TGDC can now proceed to drill. The company is said to have equipment from China for the project. However, the equipment is yet to be delivered. Meanwhile, experts from TGDC are in China for training on how to operate the procured equipment.
This revelation came approximately a month after TGDC published a tender for drilling and well testing services for three slim-hole wells for the Ngozi geothermal project.
Tanzania to invest US$300m in its first geothermal power plant
Tanzania is planning to invest in geothermal power at Lake Ngozi in Mbeya, in a bid to shift focus from hydro. The first geothermal power plant to be constructed next year will be a milestone for alternative power sources in the country.
The venture, which is being led by African Development Bank (AfDB) as financiers, will unlock the country’s potential for geothermal power according to Emeka Oragunye, the principal energy specialist at AfDB.
The new power plant will generate 5, 000MW and is part of AfDB’s plan in financing renewables through the scaling-up renewable energy program (SREP). The country has received US 45 million from AfDB and US $25 million from SREP.
The country will also seek to develop other 50 geothermal potential spots – which will be crucial in the shift from hydro and private oil-fired power generation by the state-run Tanesco. It will also be critical in the planned addition of 10, 000 MW into the grid by 2025, up from the current 2, 780MW. Tanzania’s hydropower has been affected by recurring droughts.
Chief executive officer at the Geological Survey of Tanzania Mr. Abdulkarim Mruma has said the heat under Lake Ngozi – 200 degrees centigrade – is sufficient to generate power.
Tanzania will also join Ethiopia and Kenya, which have previously invested in geothermal power plants.
Tanzania allocates US $8.7m for Lake Ngozi geothermal project
The government of Tanzania has set aside US $8.7m in the 2018/ 2019 fiscal year for the Lake Ngozi geothermal project in the Mbeya region.
The chairman of the Tanzania Geothermal Development Company (TGDC), Beatus Segeja confirmed the reports during his visit to Lake Ngozi and said the government was in collaboration with the country’s electric supply company to see through the progress of the construction works.
“Company Limited (TANESCO) and other development partners have come together to implement the project. In order to boost the budget, we will also engage other stakeholders,” said Beatus Segeja.
Lake Ngozi geothermal power generator
The first geothermal project in the country is expected to produce 200MW of power from geothermal energy resources by 2025. Currently, there are 50 areas that are considered to have the potential for geothermal development.
Talamayeri Njukava, TGDC technical director said that a team of experts had proven that Lake Ngozi was fit enough for geothermal power generation. The lake will be a geothermal source together with other regions such as Songwe, Mbaka, and Kiejo.
The lake’s temperature is not less than 230 centigrade with a PPM of 1450 chloride making it suitable for the project. According to Mr. Segeja, TGDC will drill three wells in Lake Ngozi that would be later connected to the main grid.
“We were awarded a certificate from the National Environmental Management after an environmental assessment was conducted,” Eng. Kato Kabaka, the TGDC General Manager added.
The project, which according to Mr. Segeja, is set to be a first of its kind in the country and will play a key role in addressing the power woes in the country that relies heavily on hydro-power and gas lately.
Only 24% of the Tanzania population has access to electricity but the demand for electricity in Tanzania is estimated to grow by 10 to 15% in every year.
About Tanzania Geothermal Development Company (TGDC)
TGDC is a government company that was incorporated for the specific purpose of leading the geothermal development resources in Tanzania. The company is a subsidiary company of TANESCO.
Construction of the Lake Ngozi geothermal plant to begin in 2021
Construction works on the Lake Ngozi geothermal plant in Mbeya Region Tanzania have been slated to commence in 2021. This is according to the Tanzania Geothermal Development Company (TGDC).
Speaking during a recent workshop for Parliamentary Committee on Energy and Minerals members, the TGDC General Manager, Mr. Kato Kabaka, revealed the reports and said the government had already dished out US $8.7bn for the purchase of a drilling machine at the project site.