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100 MW wind farm to rise in Tanzania

A 100-megawatt wind farm being developed by Wind East Africa is aiming to become the first successful, independent wind energy project in Tanzania.

The $285 million project, located in Singida about 700 kilometers from Dar es Salaam, is part of the Tanzanian governments push to diversify their energy sources as drafted in their renewable energy policy.

The wind power plant will be developed through the collaborative effort of International Finance Corporation, a World Bank group member, Aldwych, a leading developer of power projects in sub-Saharan Africa, and Six Telecoms, an international wholesale telecommunications company. The three companies will provide $18 million during the development stage and $71 million in total funds.

It will be owned by Wind East Africa and operated by a management company led by Aldwych and Six Telecoms.

The Singida project aims to enhancing the country’s power supply reliability and reducing its dependence on costly fuel imports as well as help address climate change.

The country is currently highly dependent on hydropower. When the hydropower supply drops during times of drought, Tanzania is forced to rely on costly emergency power, according to I.F.C.

“I.F.C. invested in Wind East Africa’s Singida farm to support a pioneering energy project that can serve as an example to the entire region,” said Oumar Seydi, I.F.C. Director for East and Southern Africa.

“With growing demand for electricity in Africa’s economies, independent power projects like Singida can add much-needed capacity to the power grid. Aldwych International and Six Telecoms’ participation demonstrates how the private sector can advance government efforts to increase energy security,” he added.

The 100-megawatt wind farm will also deliver power at a more steady cost, since tariffs for wind energy remain relatively constant as no fuel source is needed.

Aside from the investment, I.F.C. will assist in the overall construction of the project. It will also lend its “experience and expertise” to structuring process, assuring that the project meets the acceptable environmental and social standards.

I.F.C., the largest global development institution dedicated on the private sector in developing countries, has already invested $1 billion in infrastructure projects in Africa in fiscal year 2012, up from $200 million in last five years. – C. Dominguez

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