Sunday January 7, 2018
Tanzania has been hit by a country-wide blackout for over week now due to a technical glitch in its national power grid, the country’s state-run electricity supplier said.
“A technical fault … caused all regions connected to the national power grid to lose electricity supply,” the Tanzania Electric Supply Company (Tanesco) said in a statement.
The outage first occurred at around 0400 GMT (7am local time) on Thursday last week, and it was still trying to fix the fault, the company said.
Partial blackouts occur regularly in Tanzania, which relies on hydro, natural gas and heavy fuel oil to generate electricity. Many businesses use power generators as backups, pushing up their operating costs.
All regions connected to the national power grid to lose electricity supply,” – Tanzania Electric Supply Company statement
Tanzania invited bids in August to build a 2,100-megawatt (MW) hydroelectric plant in a World Heritage site renowned for its animal population, despite opposition from conservationists to the long-delayed project.
Tanzanian president John Magufuli is personally backing the project at Stiegler’s Gorge in the Unesco-designated Selous Game Reserve and sees it as vital to diversify Tanzania’s energy mix and end chronic electricity shortages.
The project would more than double the country’s current power generation capacity of around 1,500MW. The government did not say how much the project would cost and how it would raise financing, but wants it completed within three years.
Tanzania’s energy infrastructure has suffered from decades of underinvestment, neglect and corruption allegations, and investors have long complained that the lack of reliable power hurts business in East Africa’s second biggest economy.