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Sunday, November 16, 2014

Before IPTL & Beyond RICHMOND: From EPA to ESCROW

"Prior to the completion of the Kidatu project the maintenance problems of TANESCO were exacerbated by the need to run all generating systems at near maximum capacity, in order to meet the demands for electrical power. In fact, that was not entirely successful because TANESCO was forced to make frequent power cuts when demand exceeded supply, resulting in a loss of production in many industries, particularly in Dar es Salaam. Secondly, machine breakdowns became more frequent because many power units had foregone routine maintenance owing to the pressures upon TANESCO to maintain power supplies. The net results was often the need for more extensive (and more expensive) repairs. One reason for the purchase of the controversial gas turbine generator at Ubungo at a cost of Shs 14 million was to meet the shortfall in generating capacity while awaiting completion of Kidatu. It was intended to cover peak demands only, but TANESCO was forced to operate it for 24 hours per day, because of breakdowns in other parts of the power supply system. No other type of generator could have become operational in the space of three months from the decision to buy (diesel engines take at least 6-9 months to install and hydro-stations more like 4-5 years). However, even the gas turbines (which was purchases second-hand) was not without its breakdown problems, and moreover, it seems that its installation was faulty. One of the crucial bearings was incorrectly aligned, thus allowing the turbines blades to make contact with the outer casing, which lead to considerable losses of power and excessive fuel consumption. Tanzania, therefore, paid dearly for a lack of forward planning to ensure that expansion of power supply corresponded with the expansion of industrial activity..." - J.V.S. Jones on 'Resources and Industry in Tanzania: Use, Misuses and Abuse' published in 1981 by the then Tanzania Publishing House (TPH): Page 32-33.

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