[h=1]Emergency plant to ease power rationing[/h] By JOHN MBALAMWEZI Posted Sunday, July 24 2011 at 12:07 THEA EAST AFRICAN Tanzania has turned to Swedish firm Siemens Energy for industrial gas turbines in a quick fix attempt to alleviate the power rationing crippling the country. Siemens Energy is to supply three industrial gas turbines driven by natural gas, which is abundant in the country, with a combined capacity of 100 Megawatts, for the Ubungo power plant. According to Tanzania Electricity Supply Company (Tanesco), the three turbines will be powered by natural gas through a pipeline from the Songo Songo gas field off the coast of Tanzania. Tanesco communications manager Badra Masoud, told The EastAfrican in Dar es Salaam that the power plant will be constructed by Norway-based Jacobsen Electro AS and will cost about $124.8 million upon completion in June 2012. The Tanzanian government has financed 15 per cent of the project with the balance of 85 per cent being provided by HSBC Bank of Norway under a loan agreement. Ms Masoud said that connection to the grid is planned for late 2011, which it is hoped will bridge the 376 MW shortfall. "Once completed, the project will fill the gap in generating electricity and improve the availability and reliability of power supply in Tanzania," she added. A drastic drop in the water level of the Mtera hydroelectric dam in Iringa Region forced Tanesco to announce an alternating power rationing programme ushering in 12 hours of power cuts daytime and six hours at night in most regions at the end of June. This highlights Tanzania's over-reliance on hydro power. Tanzania's interconnected system has an installed capacity of 773 Megawatts, of which 71 per cent is hydropower. Markus Tacke, chief executive of Siemens Energy, told The EastAfrican in Dar es Salaam last week that the turbines to be installed - the SGT-800 - are among the most efficient industrial gas turbines in the market. "With our gas turbines, we can support the development of a reliable power supply in Tanzania," he said. In another development, a conglomerate led by British Energy Company, Globeleq, plans to invest a total of $120 million to double gas output in Tanzania for power generation. According to Christopher Ford, the Songas managing director, the $120 million project will deliver approximately 140 million cubic feet a day of gas to Dar es Salaam that will almost fully utilise the gas reserves at Songo Songo island and allow Tanesco to boost its power generation.