TANZANIA: $276 million from the AfDB and AFD for the Kakono hydropower plant (88 MW)

20 04 2023 | 13:24 Benoit-Ivan Wansi

Tanzania, which is 66% dependent on natural gas and oil for its electricity production, will diversify its national electricity mix through the construction of the Kakono hydropower plant in the northern region of Kagera. The 87.8 MW facility is being co-financed to the tune of US$276.2 million by the French Development Agency (AFD), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the European Union (EU).

In Tanzania, the Kakono hydropower project is on track. The French Development Agency (AFD) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) have confirmed their financing of USD 120.7 million and USD 116 million respectively. The loans, which will be repaid by the Tanzanian government over 17 years, will be used to build a run-of-river power plant with a capacity of 87.8 MW.

The Kakono hydropower scheme also benefits from a $39.5 million grant from the European Union (EU). This brings the total cost of the project to 276.2 million dollars. The project, which started on 1 April 2023, will be delivered by 31 December 2028 by the state-owned Tanzania Electric Supply Company (TANESCO). The infrastructure, which will be accompanied by a dam on the Kagera River, will provide clean energy to about 4 million people.

“It will replace the use of fossil fuels in north-western Tanzania, where expensive diesel generators are often brought into service to supplement grid supply or improve the quality of supply to avoid prolonged power cuts. The Kakono plant will generate about 524 GWh per year and this power will be transmitted through a 38.5 km long 220 kV transmission line to the existing Kyaka substation,” says the AfDB, represented in the East African country by Patricia Laverley.

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The Kakono hydropower plant, which is expected to avoid annual emissions of 216,000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), will also be a hub for Tanzania’s electricity exports to neighboring countries in the Great Lakes region, including Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda. According to AFD, the commissioning of this facility will contribute to the achievement of the United Nations’ 7th Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) which calls for the development of renewable energy.