Tanesco’s restructuring opens doors to energy investors

Energy and Minerals minister, Prof. Sospeter Muhongo

Government yesterday opened doors for negotiations with big energy companies as part of its efforts to restructure and transform the monopoly state-run Tanzania Electric Supply Company (Tanesco).

Energy and Minerals minister Prof. Sospeter Muhongo said “the government’s attempt to invest in the energy sector alone will never bare fruits, unless the private sector is involved.”

He said the ongoing transformation in the country’s energy sector calls for the involvement of big investors in power generation, transmission and distribution.

“This is the only way that we can easily respond to challenges facing the energy sector in the country,” he insisted, adding “we are opening a new chapter…we are already in negotiation with big investment companies.” 

The minister was responding to questions from reporters after a short media brief about the Swedish Energy delegation to Tanzania, headed by the State Secretary for Trade, Gunner Oom.

The briefing was also attended by the Ambassador of Sweden to Tanzania, Lennarth Hjelmaker.

According to Prof. Muhongo, even the country’s total income of $28billion is not sufficient to undertake full investment in the energy sector especially since the amount is required for apportionment to other development sectors.

The minister made clear that, the government’s quest to boost the country’s economic growth to 8 percent from the current 6 to 7 percent, needs availability of reliable energy supply.

The minister believes that government’s diversification plan that includes the adoption of the energy mix strategy (having various sources of power generation, coal, natural gas, hydro and renewable energy) will facilitate the attainment of improved power supply across the country.

“Until now we have projects to double the amount of power generation…however, we’re grateful that some companies from Sweden have agreed and shown interest to invest in the energy sector,” he rvealed.

Prof. Muhongo conceded that Tanesco hasn’t performed well in the recent past years and hence the need to restructure.

Although the transformation will take time, but the minister predicted that in the not so distant future Tanesco’s monopoly will come to an end.

Visiting Swedish State Secretary for Trade Oom, said the country’s development needs to be transformed from depending on loans from development partners to trade and investment.

“Donor aid is not sustainable and even detrimental to developing countries seeking to advance into middle income countries.” The diplomat asserted.
He advised on the need for countries such as Tanzania, to develop new ways to expand their economies.

“Our companies are ready to invest in Tanzania considering that the relationship between the two countries dates back to more than 50 years,” he said.

He advised the government to consider the role of financial institutions in developing a well-structured project that would attract investment.

These developments are in line with Prof. Muhongo’s assertion made sometime in October last year when he called for the country to restore its pride as an industrial hub in the East African region it needed to have abundant and reliable power supply as well as a structured organ/s that to oversee operations.