The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has partnered with Aldwych and Six Telecoms to develop a 100 MW wind farm in Singida, Tanzania.
The developer of the project is Wind East Africa and the Singida project seeks to be the country’s first wind energy power project. The project is a result of the government push for diverse energy sources, as drafted in its recent policy on renewable energy.
The total project cost for the wind farm located 700 km from Dar es Salaam is estimated at US$285 million, of which IFC, Aldwych and Six Telecoms will contribute US$18 million during the development stage and US$71 million dollars in total equity.
Mark Gammons, project director for Aldwych, says, “Having been involved in the successful development of the Songas gas to electricity project, we believe this ground-breaking project will help develop the Tanzanian power sector and also the local economy around Singida.”
IFC will lend its experience and expertise to project structuring process and to ensure that the project meets the appropriate environmental and social standards.
The demand for power in Tanzania is growing by more than 50 MW a year, fuelled partly by an expansion of mining undertakings in the north and southern of the country. Currently, hydro is the major source of electricity in Tanzania. The wind farm in Singida will mean that power-hungry industries will soon be provided with electricity generated locally. The wind farm will benefit the local economy, providing 200 jobs during the construction phase and a handful of jobs when it is up and running.
Wind power on a commercial scale is not common in sub-Saharan Africa, despite the existence of constantly blowing and consistently strong winds, especially along the top of the rift valley, the mountain plateau which runs through east Africa from Ethiopia to Malawi and Mozambique.