Tanzania Gets US$60 Million OPEC Loan For Transmission Line

The overhead line will connect the Kagera region to the national grid.

By Liz Bains on
5th July 2023

The OPEC Fund for International Development has agreed a US$60 million loan to support the construction of a 166km overhead transmission line in northwest Tanzania.

The project will connect the Kagera region to the national grid and replace the current energy supply from Uganda with local hydropower resources.

Tanzania is expanding its hydropower capacity with new plants at Rusumo and Kakono in the northwestern region. The 80MW Rusumo facility is due to come online in 2024 and the 87MW Kakono plant by 2030.

Construction of the Rusumo hydro scheme was 99% complete as of April.

The financing of the transmission line project will be shared among several partners. In addition to the OPEC Fund’s US$60 million facility, the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development will commit US$30 million, the Saudi Fund for Development will provide US$12.8 million and the government of Tanzania US$2.6 million. 

Other backers are set to finance a downstream distribution network that will connect many unserved communities to the grid.

The investment in local power capacity will reduce the need to pay for energy imports in foreign currency and enhance Tanzania’s energy security.

Earlier this year, the OPEC Fund provided a US$25 million loan to Niger to support the construction and grid integration of the 10MW Dossa solar plant.

The Dossa facility forms part of a wider US$167 million project, known as RANAA, to develop solar capacity and improve electricity access in Niger.

Under the project, three solar plants with a combined capacity of 40MW will be built in the Maradi, Dosso and Diffa regions, along with 2,600km of new transmission lines. The investments will benefit 750,000 people living in the project area. 

The African Development Bank, Power Africa, the Green Climate Fund and the government of Niger are providing the rest of the funding for the RANAA project.

Just 20% of the population in Niger has access to electricity.

Photo: Power lines (© Ross Kummer | Dreamstime)

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