Sumitomo has commenced construction on the 240MW Kinyerezi natural gas-fired combined cycle power plant in Tanzania.

The construction is a part of engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract awarded to the firm by the state-run Tanzania Electric Supply (Tanesco).

Said to be the country’s first natural gas-fired combined cycle power plant, the JPY35bn ($312.6m) Kinyerezi facility is being developed about 30km southwest of the Dar es Salaam.

Featuring six Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS)-built H-25 gas turbines and generators, the power plant is expected to generate electricity required to power nearly 20% of the country’s total power needs.

Toshiba Plant Systems & Services will be responsible for the supply of heat recovery boilers, steam turbines and other equipment. It will also undertake civil and installation works, as well as coordinate technical matters.

Planed to be commissioned in early 2018, the power plant will be handed over to Tanesco in September 2018.

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking (SMBC) and Japan Bank for International will jointly finance the project, which is being developed to meet the growing power needs Tanzania due to a decline in hydroelectric power generation which is the country’s primary power source.

Additionally, the project is expected to contribute to improving Tanzania’s basic infrastructure as a part of the "Partnership for Quality Infrastructure" initiative, which is being supported by the Japanese government with funding, insurance and technology.