This Power Shortage Could Be History; unutilized potential to generate more than 1,500 mgw from Coal | JamiiForums | The Home of Great Thinkers

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This Power Shortage Could Be History; unutilized potential to generate more than 1,500 mgw from Coal

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Siasa' started by nngu007, Jul 20, 2011.

  1. nngu007

    nngu007 JF-Expert Member

    Jul 20, 2011
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    Bilham Kimati
    15 July 2011

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    INDIGENOUS geological experts have shed light on the country's unutilized potential to generate more than 1,500 megawatts from coal in the next six years. Coal found in Iringa, Mbeya and Ruvuma regions can produce 6,000 MW for the next 150 years.

    Dr Samuel Mafwenga, who is a Mining Engineer conveyed the good news to a delegation of visiting members of the Parliamentary Public Organizations Accounts Committee (POAC) recently, insisting that the long maintained claims that investment on coal for power generation in the country was risky and wasteful were entirely misleading.

    The accounts committee (POAC) under the chairmanship of Hon Zitto Kabwe ventured into a five-day intensive fact finding mission in the Southern Highlands specifically assessing the viability of coal in producing electricity.

    Furthermore, the expert informed the visiting legislators that the country was heavily endowed with 1.8 billion tonnes of good quality coal reserves with less that 25 per cent of the recommended ash content. The extensive deposits referred to are located in Mchuchuma in Ludewa district Iringa region, Ngaka in Songea Ruvuma region and Kiwira in Ileje/Kyela in Mbeya Region.

    "The purpose of the visit is to seek and identify opportunities to lead the country to another level of energy independence. As a nation we cannot continue relying on hydro-power generation. We have coal in abundance as an alternative resource," Zitto said.

    After learning about all facts concerning coal deposits, the committee (POAC) chairman Zitto could not hide his feelings, but underscored the need for all entrusted leaders and stakeholders to be serious and double efforts to rid the country of perpetual darkness. "Commitment among all stakeholders is absolutely essential.

    Generation of power from coal is not a matter of choice but an obligation. Reliable supply of energy will allow economic growth free from recurring power rationing currently affecting the country's economic base," Zitto observed. The national power utility (Tanesco) has for many years grappled with power interruptions due to repeated spells of drought leading to a sharp decline of water levels at the main hydro-power stations at Mtera, Kidatu and Kihansi dams.

    Flanked by the Executive Director of NDC, Mr Gideon Nasari, the NDC Board Chairman and long serving legislator, Dr Chrisant Mzindakaya informed POAC members that studies had confirmed the good quality of Mchuchuma coal for generation of electricity. "Power generation from coal is a good idea which must be implemented.

    The next step is timely implementation of development plans without hesitation," Dr Mzindakya explained. He added; a strategic investor to work in partnership with the National Development Corporation (NDC) had been identified.

    This is a Chinese company, Sichuan Hongda Corporation Limited that won the tender and currently engaged in preliminary talks. Under the joint initiative NDC and Sichuan Hongda Corporation Limited plan to mine three million tons of coal annually from Mchuchuma.

    According to NDC Executive Officer, Mr. Nassari, proposals would be brought first to the High Level Government Committee and then to the Cabinet, where the final decision would be made. Asked what could have been reasons behind "the blindness" that prevented implementation of such valuable projects (coal & iron), Dr Mzindakaya had an instant answer; "Bureaucracy and fear to take decisions," he said.

    "I served in the government for many years. I served as a parliamentarian for 44 years. I know exactly what hinders implementation of projects in this country even projects of national interest," he added. He said some of the decision makers were extremely bureaucratic fearing of making mistakes in case of making decisions.

    "This attitude is wrong and must be abandoned forthwith. Being a leader you must have the courage to take decisions. Risk taking as a leader is inevitable provided that decisions are taken in good faith," Mzindakaya insisted.

    The other thing the Wiseman advised government officials to avoid was about hurried signing of contracts especially with foreign companies not to subject the country into tardy regret. In Songea where you have Ngaka Coalfields under Tancoal Energy Limited (Tancoal), a joint venture between the National Development Corporation (NDC 30 per cent) and Pacific Corporation East Africa (PCEA 70 per cent) legislators learnt about Ngaka of coal reserves of more than 250 million tonnes.

    According to the company's Operation Mining Manager, Mr Gordon Mc Cormack, the Business Base Case considers the supply of 450MW power station for 25 years. "Tanzania like any other growing economies will demand many units of electricity to support growth in both industrial and village electrification. The easiest and cheapest source of additional electricity is coal fired power generation," Gordon told the MPs.

    Again the delegation visited the huge iron ore deposits at Liganga (Maganga Matitu) which is readily available for production of spongy iron. The deposits present yet a strong justification for implementation of coal power generation projects in the area for iron smelting process. Extraction and processing of Liganga Iron Ore, which is located about 50 kilometers away from the Mchuchuma mine will create jobs to the people and market to agricultural products.

    "At this juncture, Mchuchuma can supply the country with all its current power needs for the next 150 years" Mr Nasari added. The area covered by Mchuchuma project is more than 140 square kilometres while the size of Liganga Steel Complex exceeds 179 square kilometres.

    After learning about huge unutilized resources that the country is endowed with, members of the committee could not comprehend why then Tanzania remained poor with majority of the people enduring economic hardships and the repeated power rationing.

    Also the country needs to have in stock sufficient supply of processed iron necessary for industrial development and other undertakings that require iron as the basic raw material. In his conclusion, the committee chairman said; "Time for lip-service has ended. There is no justification for the country to remain poor while the abundant resources like coal and iron-ore remain unexploited.

    Until 2013 at least 200 megawatts generated from coal must be added to the national grid," Zitto said. We gather from the web that Africa with 14 per cent of the world population according to 2006 global census has 3 per cent of energy consumption compared to China with 21.2 per cent of the world population consuming 16 per cent.

    USA with 4.6 of the world population consumes 21.0 per cent of the world energy. Coal is widely used in generation of power in many countries. For example South Africa 93 per cent of its power comes from coal, Poland (92%), China (79%), Australia (77%), India (69%), Israel (63%), Morocco (55%) and USA (49%)
  2. M

    Mdondoaji JF-Expert Member

    Jul 20, 2011
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    Tatizo hawa jamaa hawafuati ushauri wa wataalamu wao wanaona project za maana ni zile za 50MW na 100 MW na kutuuzia solar panels kwa milioni 1.6 wakipata comission zao na 10% katika faida.

    Vinu vya kuzalisha umeme wa maana hawataki kusikia maana itatibua mirija yao ya ulaji. Yaani inatia hasira kwakweli.
  3. Chimunguru

    Chimunguru JF-Expert Member

    Jul 20, 2011
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    miaka nenda rudi tunasikia hizo porojo!