UBA approves additional US$40m funding for Tanzania Hydro Power project

The United Bank for Africa (UBA) has approved additional funding of US$40 million for the 2,115 megawatt Julius Nyerere Hydropower project under construction in Tanzania.

By Staff Writer on
9th December 2020

This brings the total funding provided by the Bank for the project to US$406 million, as the Bank had previously provided US$366 million in support to the project. 

The Julius Nyerere Hydroelectric Power Station project, also called the Rufiji Hydroelectric Power Station, is a hydroelectric dam being constructed across the Rufiji River in the Steigler's Gorge, approximately 220 kilometres (137 miles) by road southwest of Dar es Salaam, the commercial capital and largest city of Tanzania.

Rufiji River, Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania
Rufiji River, Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania (BBM Explorer | Wikimedia Commons)

Tanzania's President John Magufuli laid the foundation stone to flag off construction work on the project on 26 July 2019. The project is estimated to cost US$2.9 billion (TSh6.5 trillion) and completion is expected by 2022.

The scope of works for the contractors delivering the project includes scope of works that includes the main dam, saddle dam, coffer dams, diversion tunnels, stop logs & gates, trash racks, admin building, workshop building, colony, intake structure, power house, cranes, spillways, roads, Rufiji bridge, control building, switchyard, surge tanks, hydro turbines with auxiliaries, generators with auxiliaries, main control valves, power tunnels, transmission lines and firefighting system.

An Egyptian joint venture comprising Arab Contractors Company (an Egyptian construction firm) and El Sewedy Electric (an Egyptian engineering firm) was awarded the contact for the project. Arab Contractors is undertaking the civil construction works on the project, and El Sewedy will install the electro-mechanical equipment including the turbines, generators and transmission lines. 

The project was reported to be 40% complete as of June 2020.

Top Photo: Julius Nyerere Hydro Power Project under construction (@GMwangonda Twitter Handle)
Julius Nyerere Hydro Power Project under construction (@GMwangonda Twitter Handle)

On completion the dam's reservoir will have a capacity of 34 billion cubic meters, and the power station will have a production capacity of 6,307GWh of power annually. The dam will be the the largest power station by installed capacity in East Africa, and the fourth largest in Africa after Egypt’s Aswan High Dam (2100 megawatts) Mozambique’s Cahora Bassa Dam (2075 megawatts) and Angola’s Lauca Dam (2069 megawatts). It will also be the ninth largest in the world.

The project has been criticised by environmental experts who are concerned that the location of the gorge is in the middle of the Selous Game Reserve, a World Heritage Site. Conservationists have described the project as a threat to the endangered animal species in the area especially the black rhinoceros and elephants.

The United Bank for Africa (UBA) is a pan-African financial institution, offering banking services to more than 21 million customers, across over 1,000 business offices and customer touch-points, in 20 African countries. As a further demonstration of its support for the project, UBA Tanzania has opened a new ultra-modern office at the project site. The newly opened UBA Rufiji branch will offer full banking services to contractors, staff and the general public at the Julius Nyerere Hydropower project under construction. 

Top Photo: Julius Nyerere Hydro Power Project under construction (@GMwangonda Twitter Handle)

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