DASSU STEPHEN, 18th February 2009 @ 22:32 TANZANIA will get a big boost in electricity supply, after the completion of a 400mw coalpower plant within the next three years, officials said in Dar es Salaam yesterday. TANCOAL Energy Limited Director Peter Tsegas said the project was a joint venture between his firm and the National Development Corporation (NDC). "TANCOAL is in the process of obtaining all approvals and a licence from relevant authorities," Mr Tsegas said. TANCOAL is owned by Pacific Corporation East Africa Limited (PCEA), a Tanzanian firm in which Atomic Resources Limited of Australia has majority stake. TANCOAL was established in April, last year, to exploit coal resources at Ngaka and Mhukuru in Ruvuma Region and generate electricity to be integrated into the National Grid. The project is estimated to cost 1.2 billion US dollars (about 1.6trillion/-), according to Mr Tsegas. Tanzania Electric Supply Company (TANESCO) is currently the power utility monopoly, with installed capacity of 1,212 MW, out of which 562MW is generated from hydro-power stations and the balance coming from diesel and gaspowered plants. The cash-strapped Tanesco mostly operates far below the installed capacity for various reasons, including adverse weather conditions and aged machinery. Industry sources forecast the country's annual power demand to exceed 1,100MW by 2010, a factor making increased diversification a matter that needs serious attention. The project also comes a few months after the country changed the law to allow private investors to generate, distribute and trade in electricity.