Tanzania power project sets stage for electric SGR operations

Tanzania’s State power company will provide 70 megawatts of electricity to power the first phase of the standard gauge railway (SGR), which will begin service in the coming months.

On Sunday, Energy Minister Medard Kalemani revealed that the power lines between Dar es Salaam (Kinyerezi) and Morogoro (Kingorwira) had been completed, and that Tanzania Electric Supply Company Limited (Tanesco) was ready to power Tanzania Railways Corporation (TRC) locomotives.

“We have invested Tsh71.1 billion (about $30.7 million) in building the necessary power infrastructure for the first phase of the SGR. The project is 100 per cent done,” he said, narrating a number of other projects that the government has executed in the energy sector. He spoke during Tanesco workshop.

However, Dr. Kalemani, who also serves as the Chato Member of Parliament, assuaged worries that SGR train operations will be interrupted in the event of a power outage by announcing that locomotives would be fitted with power-saving systems that will keep them charged for at least one hour.

“Firstly, power disruptions will be reduced, but secondly, the locomotives will run in such a way that they are able to keep themselves powered for an hour to two from the time that a power cut happens,” explained Dr Kalemani.

Tanzania, he said, is currently working on a range of power generation projects, including the Julius Nyerere Hydropower Station, which has a capacity of 2,115 megawatts (MW), in order to achieve its target of generating 5,000 megawatts by 2025.

According to data released by Tanesco’s managing director Tito Mwinuka and backed up by Dr Kalemani, the country currently produces 1,604 MW.

“Our goal, therefore, is to ensure that we have enough power to support our country’s industrial drive while the excess will be exported,” said Dr Mwinuka.

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