TODAY the Delegation of the European Union in Tanzania, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs (National Authorising Officer of the European Development Fund) and the Rural Energy Agency have approved the signature of five (5) Grant Contracts for a total amount of EUR 7,200,000 (app. 16 billions Tshs.) in order to increase access to modern energy services in rural areas. This will be funded through a grant from the 10th European Development Fund allocation (2008-2013).

The 5 projects, selected after a competitive Call for Proposals launched in August 2010, will focus on the delivery of electricity to rural populations in several regions of the country (Iringa, Morogoro, Tanga, Kagera, Mwanza, Mara) through the utilisation of renewable energy resources (hydro, solar and biogas). These interventions will have a direct positive impact on peoples' livelihoods, on local economies and also on the environment, since improved access to modern energy services directly reduces deforestation.

It is estimated that a total of 160,000 people will directly benefit from these projects. The most important expected results are (to be delivered in the coming 4 years), the construction of a new hydropower plant in Msolwa (total capacity of 1 MW) with the installation of an initial 200 connections (households, social services and SMEs), and the upgrade of the existing Mawengi hydropower plant to a total capacity of 300 kW and the installation of 800 additional connections (households, social services and SMEs).

Others include the upgrade of the existing Ikondo hydropower plant to a total capacity of 320 kW and the installation of 130 additional connections (households, social services and SMEs), the installation of 15,000 individual Solar Household Systems through an innovative approach of "clusters" targeting farmers and workers associations in the Lake Region and the distribution and installation of 10,000 households biogas systems using an innovative, affordable and locally produced plastic technology (digester) offering decisive advantages to end users.

Tim Clarke, Ambassador and Head of European Union Delegation in Tanzania says;

"At a time of increasing concern about providing long-term, guaranteed, energy resources, I am very happy to announce these five renewable energy projects today. The potential for further investments of this sort is huge. They are particularly suitable for isolated rural communities that could never normally have access to main electricity. A 'renewable energy reflex' should be promoted throughout Tanzania.

This will make a direct and important contribution to the poverty reduction of rural population. It also reaffirms the commitment of the European Union to support the Tanzanian Government in the Energy Sector". "This event materialises as a result of strong but still growing partnership that the European Union Delegation in Tanzania and Ministry of Energy and Minerals and the Rural Energy Agency," says, Dr. Lutengano Mwakahesya, the Director General of the Rural Energy Agency (REA) adding:

"REA has experience in working with project developers' implementing these projects…and all have received funds from Rural Energy Fund to finance other projects or part of the projects they have worn under 10th EDF program. We are confident that the same will be seen in the course of implementation of these projects".

"Effective and efficient utilization of the projects resources provided by the EU requires continued strong cooperation between project implementing partners, REA, EU Delegation, Ministry of Finance and other stakeholders. The Office of NAO, as a Contracting Authority, will provide all necessary inputs to ensure successful implementation of the projects" said Sadick Magwaya from the National Authorising Office (NAO) under the Ministry of Finance.

For more information contact:
Tom Vens, Head Political, Press and Information Section EU Delegation to Tanzania