Tanzania has begun preparations for the construction of two dams that would double the country’s hydroelectric output and increase its total generating capacity by a third.
The schemes are part of Tanzania’s goal of electrifying 75% of the country by 2035.
Medard Kalemani, the minister for energy, said construction tenders would be launched in March for dams on the Ruhudji and Rumakali rivers in the southern Njombe Region.
"The implementation of these projects started with the design of projects in December and is nearing completion," he said during a tour of the area, reports local newspaper, The Guardian.
"We are now looking forward to entering the second stage of announcing tenders to get contractors from March so that by July the contractors will be available and we will officially hand over the construction sites."
The Ruhudji dam will generate 358MW and the Rumakali will be 222MW, giving a total of 580MW of capacity, or 36% of the country’s 1.6GW installed capacity in 2020.
In July last year, the Tanzania Electric Supply Company awarded Norwegian engineer Multiconsult contracts to develop the dams, as well as their associated transmission infrastructure.
The company undertook feasibility studies, prepared conceptual designs and tender documents, and conducted environmental and social impact assessments.
The Ruhardi project was first announced in 2011 as a public-private partnership scheme that was not implemented.
Image: The Njombe region’s hydro capacity is based on the Livingstone Mountains (Jojona/CC BY-SA 4.0)