Minister for Energy, Minerals embarks on power mix strategy to solve power crisis

Hon. Prof. Sospeter Muhongo

The Minister for Energy and Minerals Hon. Prof. Sospeter Muhongo says his Ministry has moved from relying on hydro-power to what he calls ‘Power mix strategy’, as one of the efforts by the Ministry to solve power crisis the Tanzania manufacturers have been facing.

Power mix strategy targets to diversify power production by using different sources of power and do away with dependence on hydro-power which to a great extent depends on rainfall. Prof. Muhongo was responding to the presentation made by the Chairman of the Confederation of Tanzania Industries (CTI) Dr. Samuel Nyantahe which explained, among other things, some of the challenges frequently faced by the manufacturers.

In his overview presentation, Dr. Nyantahe thanked the Minister for accepting to meet the CTI delegation to discuss the challenges that affect the business community in general and particularly manufacturers.
He informed the Minister that in spite of the efforts made to improve power supply, manufacturers were still faced with a number of challenges that have affected their production performances.

Dr. Nyantahe specifically pointed out at the Frequent power outages; High or low power voltages; Inadequate information on outages or power rationing; No compensation in case of losses due to unannounced power cut; Lack of immediate response in case of emergency and High tariff rates, as issues which undermined the manufacturers’ performance.

In responding, Prof. Muhongo expressed his sincere appreciation to meet with the CTI delegation and hear the challenges of power supply facing the manufacturers. He acknowledged that the ministry was aware of the problems of power supply facing industries adding that his ministry was determined to solve the power crisis.

“The Ministry has come up with a strategy of power mix that allows us to move away from relying on Hydro-power which has proved to be unreliable as it depends on availability of water” he said.

The Minister informed the CTI delegation that there was enough natural gas in Mtwara, Lindi and Mkuranga to generate power and he used the opportunity to invite the private sector to invest in power generation using natural gas. He further informed that other sources that the private sector could use to generate power included Coal, Renewable energy (solar, wind, tides and waves, geothermal and bio-energy) and Mini hydropower of not more than 10MW.

Prof. Muhongo promised to increase and stabilize power supply by end of year 2016 and assured CTI members that his Ministry was working hard to immediatelyaddress the problem of power crisis in the country.

He directed TANESCO to start consultation with various stakeholders to reduce power tariffs as the current tariffs were high thereby affecting industrial competitiveness. On the other hand, he directed CTI members and other stakeholders to meet with the Tanzania Petroleum Development Cooperation (TPDC) to discuss various issues concerning natural gas.
On the issue of compensating manufacturers for losses incurred as the result of unannounced power cut, Prof. Muhongo said that the matter could be sorted out with TANESCO after getting proof that the damage was caused by TANESCO’s faults.