Tanesco needs two years to improve services

Mr Mhando
It will take at least two years for the Tanzania Electric Supply Company (Tanesco) to stabilise power distribution to its customers, it was revealed in Dar es Salaam on Sunday.

The Tanesco managing director, Mr William Mhando, told journalists on Sunday that in addition to the timeframe, the company needs at least 1.3trn/- to address the problems, which have affected power production, transmission and distribution.

However, he assured Tanesco customers that the ongoing interruptions were not part of rationing as understood in some quarters and described them as a result of technical hitches occasioned by poor infrastructure, among other factors.

Mr Mhando said that his company was undertaking projects to improve the production, transmission and distribution of electricity. He revealed that his firm was about to roll out the plan as it expects to land the long-awaited 408bn/- in loans from commercial banks “anytime from now”.

According to him, the current power problems were a result of government ‘neglect’ of the company and the power sector in general.

He told journalists that since the early 1990s, when the government tried to privatise Tanesco, there haven’t been any major investments geared at improving power production.

“For nearly ten years now, the government hasn’t invested in the electricity sub-sector because it was looking for an investors (for Tanesco); that’s why we’ve poor infrastructure that has been the major cause of power interruptions,” he said.

He named some of  the strategies his company and the government have put in place to improve the sector as the setting aside of 12 per cent of its monthly income for investing in electricity production.

Tanesco technicians at work
Mr Mhando said also that his company would acquire an US $805 million (about 1.288trn/-) from the World Bank. The money would be used to improve transmission infrastructure in Dar es Salaam, Arusha and Kilimanjaro regions. He added that Tanesco would also acquire a Euro25 million from the Finnish government.

He said the money would be used to upgrade the Dar es Salaam city centre transmission system from the current 11,000 volts to 33,000 volts to cater for the ever-growing demand.
Source: The Citizen,www.thecitizen.co.tz, reported by Frank Kimboy
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