Construction of East Africa’s largest hydro project inches closer to reality in Tanzania

Tanzania has awarded the tender for the construction of what will become East Africa’s largest hydro electric project  the controversial Stiegler’s Gorge dam hydro electric power project in the Selous Game Reserve. The tender for the Stiegler’s Gorge dam construction was won by a joint venture between Arab Contractors and El Sewedy Electric and on an EPC(Engineering, Procurement and Construction) basis.

Stiegler’s Gorge dam

The construction of the dam in Tanzania has generated immense opposition from environmentalists over concerns regarding the negative effect on the biodiversity in the animal park which is home to elephants, cheetahs and rhinos. UNESCO has already placed the park in the list of endangered World Heritage sites over increased poaching..

With a price tag of US$ 3bn East Africa’s largest hydro project will generate 2,100 MW of electricity which will sufficient to meet Tanzania’s needs and for export as well turning the country from energy deficiency and offering cheap energy for its industrial and domestic needs. The government of Tanzania has allocated US$304mn towards the proect in 2018/19 budget.

Rufiji river

The retaining wall of East Africa’s largest hydro project will be built across Stiegler’s Gorge on the Rufiji river and submerge part of the expansive 50,000 square kilometer Selous Game Reserve. The project will take 36 months to complete and begin generating power in April 2022.

El Sewedy Electric and Arab Contractors

Both El Sewedy Electric and Arab Contractors the JV parterns are Egyptian companies. The former specializes in the production of various energy related products from cables to transformers while Arab Contractors is a major construction company with operations n various countries in Africa and the Middle East.

In an EPC project the JV contrators will design, carryout all procurement and then construct and commission the Stiegler’s Gorge dam project before handing over the project