By ORTON KIISHWEKO, 21st February 2011 @ 11:00, Total Comments: 0, Hits: 4101
SOME 50 industries have suspended operations due to power crisis.
The Parliamentary Committee on Minerals and Energy was informed by the business community in Dar es Salaam yesterday that almost a quarter of their 280 members had failed to go on with operations due to damages and costs caused by power cuts.
The Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Minerals, January Makamba, expressed deep concern shortly after meeting business leaders from Tanzania Private Sector Foundation, Confederation of Tanzania Industries and Tanzania National Business Council who briefed the Committee on the extent to which the power cuts have affected their operations.
"This trend indicates how businesses are being overwhelmed by power shortages in many ways," said Mr Makamba.
The leaders informed the committee that out of the 280 members of CTI, 50 have either closed or suspended operations.
Aside from that, the business community informed the Committee that they were losing millions of shillings.
One firm claimed to be losing US$200,000 daily and Twiga Cement company losing 20,000,000/- aside from the daily generator costs.
Some of the quantified losses came from a survey commissioned by the Business Community to find out the effects of power outages on their operations.
"The effects are not only from people failing to work due to power failures but also huge losses which come about when production processes are interfered with," he said.
Industry uses 80 per cent of Tanesco's generated power and they in turn pay huge taxes and bills to the public utility and the government.
Mr Makamba advised that discussions between the government and Tanesco should be fenced off away from the legalities involved in the Dowans saga.
This, he suggested, would create the possibility of switching the Dowans generators on to generate power as the legalities were being sorted out.
"Such discussions should be fenced so that the stakeholders' agreement is insulated from the ongoing legal issues," he said.
Mr Makamba had suggested last week that switching on the Dowans generators would produce 140Mega Watts within two days.
The Committee asked Parliament's leadership to enable it start sitting before the prescribed schedule to discuss a way out of the ongoing electricity power difficulties countrywide.
A series of meetings with stakeholders in the energy sector including a public hearing on the gas sector will culminate into a Committee's debriefing of Tanesco regarding short and midterm measures to be taken to relieve the country of the biting power problems.
He said their discussions were premised that maintaining a modern and reliable electricity system should be priority.
The Committee's move adds a new impetus to Tanesco's quest to search for additional electricity to fix an energy supply shortage that has deepened in the last few months with erratic weather amid economic needs.
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