Tanzania Electric Supply Company (TANESCO) requires to add 105 megawatts (MW) to its grid each year to meet rising demand but is unable to do the same because of delay in building power plants. The company estimated the demand growth in Tanzania to be 10% to 15% over the next five years, from an earlier 8% to 10%. Peak time demand currently stood at 787 MW against 595 MW available on the grid. TANESCO now forecasts demand rising to 1,331 MW against 1,445 MW by 2014.

High demand growth is expected … in the northern part of the country where mining and other economic activities are taking place, TANESCO Managing Director Idrisa Rashidi said.

This implies that an extra capacity of 105 MW has to be added yearly to meet expected demand. Due to this high demand growth … the generation facilities will not be able to meet the expected demand, Rashidi said.

Power generation has failed to keep up with booming demand, and there were severe power cuts in 2006 after a drought slashed hydro-power production.

Rashidi said that three projects meant to add 798 MW to the grid including a coal-fired plant, a gas-powered plant and a hydroelectric dam had been delayed.

Rashidi said that six other plants needed to be fast-tracked to tide over the power crisis.