africa Banking construction development Diplomacy Economy Egypt Energy Infrastructure Tanzania

Tanzania and Egypt to forge ahead with $3 billion dam project

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Egyptian companies have emerged as victorious bidders for the highly opposed yet potential project in Tanzania

 

Tanzania and Egypt are ready to strengthen their economic ties in the energy sector as both African countries seek to forge ahead with the construction of a $3 billion hydroelectric dam over Tanzania’s Rufiji River. Infrastructure development in the continent has compelled African governments to work together to achieve economic results.

President John Magufuli phoned Egypt’s President Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi to break the good news to him, announcing that Cairo-based firm Arab Contractors had won the tender to build East Africa’s largest hydropower plant. Arab Contractors Company will partner with El Sewedy Electric, an engineering services company in the project.

Over 81 50 multinational companies expressed their bids for the project since last year. The two Egyptian companies were among the five shortlisted companies but emerged the winner for the power station. According to Arab contractors website, the firm boasts of a wealth of experience in the infrastructure industry.

In January this year, the company won the Merit Award for the best Global Restoration Project according to ENR’s highly popular 2017 Global Classification for its outstanding role in the rehabilitation of Margarges Church in Ancient Egypt. The firm was ranked No.122 Internationally by the top 250 construction and construction companies in the world for the year 2018, according to the American ENR magazine – August 2018.

On completion, Stiegler’s Gorge power station will be Tanzania’s biggest power station and President Magufuli is determined to see the success of it. The President, despite facing criticism and opposition from environmentalists has assured the public the project will spur the economic growth of the country by offering cheap and affordable electricity by adding 2,100MW to the national grid, bringing the total installed capacity to 3,651MW.

Built along Tanzania’s largest river, conservationists are cautious of the project which serves tourist attractive site the Selous Game Reserve. They are concerned about the imbalance in the ecosystem, believing the project is a threat to the tourism sector. However, President Magufuli has replied by saying only a fraction of the water resource will be utilized.

The government allocated 40 percent of the country’s budget for Stiegler’s Gorge, cementing its commitment and support. The multi-billion project which is financed by the Parliament alone could prove to be a strain and potential investors could be selected. Tanzania depends on agriculture for the mainstay of the economy yet it was lamented the sector needed additional funding for productivity. This shift could be a turning point for an unsure future.

Source: The Exchange

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