AfDB approves $120m for 50MW hydropower plant in Tanzania

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a $120m loan to fund the construction of a 50MW hydropower plant in western Tanzania that will provide energy for more than 133,000 homes in the Kigoma Region.

The $144m Malagarasi Hydropower project includes a run-of-the-river hydropower plant; a 54-km, 132 kV transmission line that will connect to Tanzania’s national grid; a distribution network expansion operation that includes rural electrification and last-mile connections; project management and contract administration support; and compensation and resettlement of affected persons.

Bank President Adesina Akinwumi said the bank was committed to Tanzania’s "transition to more inclusive and sustainable growth through the production of clean, reliable and affordable electricity".

$20m of project funding will come from the Africa Growing Together Fund, a fund using Chinese resources administered by the AfDB. The Government of Tanzania will provide the remaining $4.14m.

Described as a flagship infrastructure scheme for Tanzania, the plant’s expected average annual output of 181 GWh will meet the electricity needs of some 133,649 Kigoma households, bringing the region’s electrification rate more in line with the rest of the country.

It is expected to create about 700 jobs during construction, cut the region’s electricity generation costs to approximately $0.04/kWh from the current $0.33/kWh, and also reduce reliance on greenhouse gas-emitting fossil fuels.

The cost of doing business will also fall because industry will no longer need to maintain costly back-up generators, said the bank.

Image by Lukas Bato/Unsplash

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