Postponing the opening of the Tanzania dam hinders the electric train project.. Egypt demands compensation - Energy

The Tanzania dam project faces many challenges, which prompted the government to postpone the opening of the project to 2024 instead of the previously scheduled date of next June, which will have negative repercussions on the first electric rail project in the eastern African country.

Tanzania suffers from frequent power cuts, as well as the absence of electricity in a number of cities. The African country has 44 power plants from hydroelectric power, gas, diesel and other fuels.

The Julius Nyerere dam project to generate electricity from the banks of the Rufiji River, which was due to start operating next month, has been postponed; To produce 2,115 megawatts of electric power, to 2024.

Reasons for delaying the opening of the Tanzanian dam

The general manager of the Tanzanian Electricity Company (Tanesco), Maharaj Chandi, said that the schedule for the $2.9 billion Tanzania dam project has been pushed back to a later date, in 2024 at the earliest, due to a set of challenges.

Chandy explained that the new date for launching the dam will be determined after completing the evaluation of the joint project with Egyptian contractors, adding that the delay is not related to financing issues, but to other reasons.

Tanzania Dam
Julius Nyerere Dam in Tanzania

The Tanzania dam project contributes to doubling the country’s electrical capacities, and allows controlling the floods that have caused the death of thousands, in addition to limiting the formation of seasonal swamps, which are the main cause of the spread of dangerous diseases.

The two Egyptian companies, the Arab Contractors and El Sewedy Electric, are jointly building the dam located in the Steigler Strait on the banks of the Rufiji River in Tanzania.

The Egyptian consortium had submitted an international tender, proposed by the government of Tanzania, in favor of the Tanzanian Electricity Company, Tanisco, to design and implement the Julius Nyerere hydroelectric power plant and dam project.

The construction of the dam began in December 2018, with an initial timetable for completion within 48 months.

Millions of dollars in compensation

The announcement of the postponement of the opening of the Tanzanian dam coincides with the presence of government reports confirming that Tanixo has received compensation requests from Egyptian contractors for breaching the terms of the contract.

According to the findings of the Comptroller and Auditor General, Charles Kitchers, frequent power outages at the project site caused work stoppages on the dam, resulting in contractors claiming $8.53 million in compensation.

According to Kitchers, only 48.02% of the project has been completed instead of 94.47% that was supposed to be completed by October 2021, and among the reasons for the delay in the implementation of the project are the Corona pandemic and the flooding of the Rufiji River.

The general manager of Tanesco, Maharaj Chandni, said that the project was completed by 58.8% at the end of last March.

He added, “The initial plan was to complete the project by June, but it became clear that this is no longer possible. We are currently conducting an assessment with the contractors to see when the dam can start generating electricity, but all indications are that this will not be before a year.” 2024″.

Other challenges

Ahmed Al-Assar, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Arab Contractors Company, had told an Egyptian government delegation that visited the project site in December of last year that there were other challenges that faced the project, including the dam’s location in a dense forest, and the difficulty of choosing the right factory for the dam’s turbines. .

Tanzania Dam
Construction work on Julius Nyerere Dam in Tanzania

El-Assar added, to the delegation headed by Egyptian Housing Minister Assem El-Gazzar, that heavy flooding on the Rufiji River also caused the flooding of some work equipment during the construction of the project’s river diversion tunnel.

The first turbine of 9 turbines with a capacity of 235 MW each was installed in August 2021.

A Tanesco official said in July last year that a 400-kilovolt transmission line was being built to a cooling sub-station in Chalenze in the Sahel region, allowing for immediate integration of electricity into the national grid once the dam was commissioned.

Indian construction company Larsen & Toubro is implementing the 160-kilometre transmission line, and sources in the Ministry of Energy confirmed to The East African that work on the transmission line and the cooling facility is proceeding at a very slow pace.

Electric train delay

The delay in completing the construction of the Julius Nyerere Dam has delayed the operation of the first electric train in Tanzania, as the dam is supposed to produce the electricity needed to power the engines of locomotives on the railways.

Tanzania Dam
Part of the celebration of the launch of the electric train project in Tanzania in 2018

Tanzanian officials said that starting in August, the service will be tested on the Dar es Salaam-Morogoro railway, which extends over an area of ​​300 km.

The amount of infrastructure investment for the first phase of the monorail is estimated at 71.1 billion Tanzanian shillings (US$30.7 million).

Engineers are currently examining the systems that will power the locomotive’s engines on the line, which was launched on Saturday 7 May, which is expected to be completed within 3 months.

The move is set to be followed by the official launch of the passenger train, according to the Tanzania Railways Corporation.

The Tanzanian government purchased two electric locomotive engines from the Turkish construction company Yapi Merkezi; For use in testing train lines.

The head of public relations at the Railways Authority, Jamila Mabrouk, said that citizens were directed to avoid using the railway line during the test period.

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