Tanzania Shuts Down Five Hydroelectric Stations Amid Excess Electricity Production

Tanzania shuts down 5 hydroelectric stations due to excess power supply from the 2,115MW Julius Nyerere dam, reflecting the country's energy progress and commitment to reliable service.

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Ebenezer Mensah
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Tanzania Shuts Down Five Hydroelectric Stations Amid Excess Electricity Production

Tanzania Shuts Down Five Hydroelectric Stations Amid Excess Electricity Production

In an unusual move, Tanzania has temporarily shut down five of its hydroelectric stations to reduce excess electricity in the national grid. Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa announced the decision, highlighting that the Mwalimu Nyerere Hydroelectric Station alone has generated enough electricity to power major cities, including the commercial capital Dar es Salaam.

The surplus electricity production comes as a surprise for Tanzania, a country known for chronic power shortages. The main factor contributing to the excess is the 2,115 MW Julius Nyerere hydropower dam, which is said to be almost full with water following heavy rains that started early this year. An official from the state-run power company Tanesco stated, "We have turned off these stations because the demand is low and the electricity production is too much."

The shutdown of the hydroelectric stations signifies a notable achievement for Tanzania's energy sector. The country has made substantial progress in delivering electricity to 96.37% of villages on the mainland, and the electricity transmission infrastructure has increased by 21.7% compared to the previous year. The Julius Nyerere Hydropower Project, part of Tanzania's power master plan, aims to interconnect the grids of Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, and Zambia. Once fully developed, it will be the largest power station in Tanzania, with a capacity of 2,115MW.

Why this matters: Tanzania's ability to manage excess electricity production reflects the country's growing energy capabilities and infrastructure development. This achievement indicates Tanzania's progress towards its goal of achieving an installed capacity of 10GW by 2025 and nearly doubling electrification rates to 75% by 2033.

The decision to shut down the hydroelectric stations comes amid extreme weather conditions in East Africa, which have led to significant loss of life and damage in neighboring countries like Kenya. In Tanzania, the heavy rains have been linked to at least 58 fatalities. Prime Minister Majaliwa emphasized the government's commitment to managing the excess power production through the Energy and Water Services Regulatory Authority (EWURA) to ensure quality and reliable service for the people.

Key Takeaways

  • Tanzania temporarily shut down 5 hydroelectric stations due to excess power supply.
  • The 2,115 MW Julius Nyerere dam is generating surplus electricity after heavy rains.
  • Tanzania has achieved 96.37% electrification of villages and 21.7% increase in transmission.
  • Tanzania aims to reach 10 GW installed capacity by 2025 and 75% electrification by 2033.
  • Heavy rains in East Africa have led to 58 fatalities in Tanzania and excess power supply.