The African Development Bank (AfDB) has agreed to provide a loan of $123.39m to the United Republic of Tanzania to finance the country’s North- West Grid 400 kV Nyakanaz – Kigoma power transmission line project.


Image: Electricity supply network. Photo: Courtesy of Spencer Jarvis/

The power transmission project will be financed from three sources including the AfDB loan, South Korea Economic Development Co-operation Fund and the Government of Tanzania, contributing 66%, 24% and 10% respectively for the an estimated cost of $186.12m.

The project which is expected to be completed in 2024, includes the construction of 280km of 400kV transmission line from Nyakanazi to Kigoma; an extension of Nyakanazi substation and construction of a new substation at Kigoma; and the integration of exiting Kigoma and Kasulu 33 KV distribution networks with the main grid including supply of last-mile connection materials to serve at-least 10,000 new consumers in Kigoma Region.

The aim of the transmission project is to improve the supply, reliability and affordability of electricity in the north-western Tanzania by providing main grid access for socio-economic transformation of the region, which is in-line with Tanzania Vision 2025.

The transmission project is expected to lower energy production costs by decommissioning expensive diesel-powered plants at Kigoma and Kasulu urban centres. Besides, it will also create jobs and can help in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the north western Tanzania.

Tanzania claims that the project will increase electricity access from 16.2% to 20% in the region, covering more than 483,000 households by 2024.

The project will also complement the ongoing 220kV Rusumo-Nyakanazi regional transmission line including the multinational 80 MW Rusumo Hydro Power Plant along with other Development Partner supported energy infrastructure programmes in the region.

AfDB said: “The North-West Grid transmission line project  is aligned with the Bank’s Ten Year Strategy (2012 – 2022) and the High Five priorities, especially “Light-up & Power Africa”  and  New Deal on Energy for Africa which aim to achieve Universal Access to Energy in regional member countries. Also, the project is in line with the Bank’s Tanzania Country Strategy Paper (2016-2020) which focuses on infrastructure development.”