Tanzania to Sign $3 Billion Power Plant Deal This Week- President
Tanzanian President in remarks broadcast on state television on Tuesday said the country will sign a deal this week for the construction of a $3 billion hydroelectric power plant.
Government sources told Reuters the contract would be signed with Egypt’s Arab Contractors.
President John Magufuli said the East African country was moving ahead with the project due to improved revenue collection by the government, without giving details.
The 2,100 MW project would more than double the country’s power generation capacity. But the project’s location is in a World Heritage site and has faced opposition from conservationists.
According to report, the construction of a dam on a major river that runs through the Selous Game Reserve could affect wildlife and their habitats downstream.
The government invited bids in August last year for the project at Stiegler’s Gorge which is in the Selous Game Reserve.
El Sewedy’s Head of Marketing, Ahmed Hassouna, on Tuesday said Egypt’s El Sewedy Electric Co has said it will also participate in the construction of the dam. Arab Contractors will have a 55 per cent stake in the project and El Sewedy 45 per cent.
According to UNESCO, covering 50,000 square km, the Selous Game Reserve is one of the largest protected areas in Africa. It is known for its elephants, black rhinos and giraffes, among many other species.
The World Wildlife Fund conservation group said in a report in July last year the proposed large-scale hydropower dam “puts protected areas of global importance, as well as the livelihoods of over 200,000 people who depend upon the environment, at risk.”
It said “The impact on Tanzania’s largest river would affect many ecosystem services it provides. It would affect tourism in Selous downstream in some of the most abundant wildlife areas in the game reserve.”