Kihansi site news includes rehab of existing equipment, expansion of generating capacity

Significant work is set to begin at the location of Tanzania Electric Supply Company Limited’s (TANESCO) 180-MW Kihansi hydropower plant.

Multiple tenders for equipment supply for the existing Kihansi plant were issued in mid-January. These included supply of complete deflector servomotor assembly and servomotor assembly for main injector, as well as upgrading of the excitation system for Units 1, 2 and 3. In November 2017, TANESCO issued a tender for consultancy services for design of the main valve cylinder gate for these three units.

Kihansi is located on the Kilombero river system along the Udzungwa escarpment, about 200 km southwest of TANESCO’s 204-MW Kidatu hydropower plant. A low concrete gravity dam diverts the river flow into a vertical unlined intake shaft 500 m deep that connects to an unlined headrace tunnel leading to a steel penstock. The powerhouse is in an underground cavern and contains three Pelton turbine-generator units each with a capacity of 60 MW. It was commissioned in December 1999.

TANESCO intends to add two 60-MW turbine-generator units and a large water storage dam to increase installed capacity at the site to 300 MW.

This work was detailed in a recent document on new and ongoing power projects to be implemented up to 2017, as extension of the Upper Kihansi Hydro Power Plant. It is being undertaken “to improve the power supply condition in Tanzania and create an opportunity for bilateral electricity trade with neighboring countries.”

TANESCO’s generation system consists of mainly hydro and thermal generation. The company has seven hydro plants with a total capacity of 561.845 MW and a total generation capacity of 1,135.61 MW.

Other recent hydro activity in Tanzania includes advancement of the 2,100-MW Rufiji project, located in the Selous Game Reserve.

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Elizabeth Ingram is content director for the Hydro Review website and HYDROVISION International. She has more than 17 years of experience with the hydroelectric power industry. Follow her on Twitter @ElizabethIngra4 .

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