Tanzania is in talks with the Export-Import Bank of China (EximBank) for a $132 million loan to fund the country’s first wind power project, the energy ministry said on Thursday.
Tanzania, which relies heavily on hydro-electric power, natural gas and fuel oil for electricity generation, wants to add wind and geothermal power to its energy mix.
“The government is now in talks with China’s EximBank to finalise the conditions for this low-interest loan,” Tanzania’s Energy and Minerals Ministry said in a statement.
“The project has been delayed because of challenges in getting a concessional loan after EximBank raised its interest rate from 1 percent to 2 percent and lowered the loan repayment period to 20 years from 25 years,” it said.
The wind farm project to be built in the central town of Singida is expected to have capacity for 50 megawatts (MW) next year, with plans to raise that to 300 MW in future.
The government initially aimed to commission the wind farm in 2013 but construction has been delayed by a lack of finance.
The project is a joint venture between state-run National Development Corporation (NDC), state power utility TANESCO and a privately owned company, Power Pool East Africa Limited.
Tanzania, which is estimated to have 53.28 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves, aims to double its power production to 3,000 MW by 2016 to meet rising demand.