Tanzania secures funding for Kakono hydro project

Three institutions are collaborating to provide the financing.

By Chriselle Moraes on
12th May 2023

The government of Tanzania has secured US$300 million in funding for the construction of the 87.8MW Kanono hydropower project.

Three institutions are collaborating to provide the financing. The African Development Bank will provide a US$161.47 million soft loan, the French Development Agency (AFD) will contribute a US$121.2 million soft loan, and the European Union will provide a US$39.6 million grant.

The plant will be built along the Kagera River, downstream from Rusumo, Murongo/Kikagati, and Nsongezi, and will have an annual energy-generating capacity of 573 GWh. 

The project includes the construction of a concrete-faced rock-fill dam, about 42 metres high and 1,380 metres long, and a gravity roller-compacted concrete dam, about 61 metres high and 284 metres long. Associated infrastructure works include upgrading the Kyaka substation, a new 39-kilometre 220-kV transmission line, and capacity-building support for TANESCO, the state-owned electricity supply company.

The plant will be built on a new watershed that is less drought-prone, thereby reducing hydrological risks and increasing renewable generation capacity.

“The construction of the new power plant will help improve TANESCO’s financial sustainability arising from decommissioning the diesel-based power plants in the Kagera region. The economic benefits derived from the supply of affordable power will be immense. We can expect to see a marked improvement in the quality of life for people in the Kagera region and Tanzania more broadly,” said Patricia Laverley, African Development Bank’s Tanzania Country Manager.

Celine Robert, AFD Country Director, said, “This investment will have a major impact on economic development and on population well-being as the infrastructure will answer the power needs of 3 to 4 million people.” 

The plant is expected to be operational by the end of 2026. 

The project will help address electricity deficits in the Lake Zone’s Kagera, Geita, and Mwanza regions and provide about 210,000 households with green energy. It will also create 1,000 temporary job opportunities during the six-year implementation phase and 100 permanent jobs during the operational phase.

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