France and African Development Bank to finance Tanzanian hydropower project

The Kagera River forms part of the headwaters of the White Nile (SteveRwanda/CC BY-SA 3.0)
The government of Tanzania has signed a $300m loan agreement with the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the French Development Agency to finance the 88MW Kakono Hydropower Plant in the northwest of the country, International Water Power reports

Tanzania’s Electric Supply Company (Tanesco) is building the plant to bring electricity to about 4 million people.

It’s expected to spur economic growth in Tanzania and neighbours Rwanda and Burundi.

The scheme will involve building two barriers on the Kagera River: a concrete-faced rockfill dam, about 42m high and 1,380m long, and a gravity roller-compacted concrete dam about 61m high and 284m long.

Rome-based hydro specialist Studio Pietrangeli will provide engineering services, and Norwegian consultants Multiconsult and Norplan have carried out the environmental and social impact assessment.

As well as the dams and their generating equipment, the project will upgrade a substation and add a 39km 220kV transmission line.

Speaking at the signing ceremony in Dar es Salaam, Patricia Laverley, ABfD’s manager for Tanzania, said the project would improve Tanesco’s financial sustainability and improve the quality of life for people in the Kagera region.

Nabil Hajlaoui, France’s ambassador to Tanzania, expressed his country’s readiness to invest in power generation and transmission projects to meet the rapidly growing electricity demand while reducing the carbon intensity of its energy mix.

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