Tanzania’s stalled 2,100-MW Stieglers Gorge hydropower project could have new life

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Tanzanian President John Mogufuli revived talks about the 2,100-MW Stieglers Gorge hydropower project during a recent tour of the country’s eastern coast.

The massive project has been on the drawing board for decades as part of Tanzania’s master power plan, which envisions Stieglers Gorge helping interconnect the grids of Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Zambia.

The plant was, through the mid-2000s, under the development of the Rufiji Basin Development Authority (RUBADA) which announced it was seeking a partner to help finance Stieglers Gorge in August 2006.

A plan to complete the initiative in several stages was said to have been found technically and economically feasible in an independent World Bank review of the proposal, though RUBADA left the project some time before December 2010, when Brazil was reported to be in talks to construct the complex.

The project has stalled since then, though statements made by Mogufuli during a rally this week indicate the government of Tanzania is now working with Ethiopia to develop the project, per an agreement made between government officials earlier this spring.

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Michael Harris formerly was Editor for HydroWorld.com.

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