From PIUS RUGONZIBWA in Tanga., 3rd March 2011 @ 12:00, Total Comments: 0, Hits: 3159
OWNERS of Hale Sisal Power Plant in Tanga region have appealed to the National Environmental Management Council (NEMC) to spend less time in verifying and issuing clearance of Environmental Impact Assessments to (EIA) small power generating projects.
The Director of Development of the Katani Ltd which owns the Hale Sisal Power Plant Mr Juma Shamte said here that it usually take NEMC about six months to issue EIA certificate to his Company’s power project that generates power from sisal remains.
He mentioned an example of a small country like Rwanda which takes around 30 days to give such a clearance, calling for Tanzania to emulate such an example, to get rid of cumbersome procedures in such sensitive projects.
He was briefing a group of reporters which is in the region to visit power and mining activities implemented under the supervision of the Ministry of Energy and Minerals.
“We have challenges which call for an urgent solution by the authorities, one being the NEC bureaucracy to issue EIAs. We think 180 days taken to projects like ours can be shortened for the sake of conveniences,” noted Mr Shamte.
The Director also called for the government to consider giving incentives to small power producers such as tax exemptions for them to sustain their activities like it was the case with the mining companies.
According to him, the government should revise low tariffs offered to small energy companies, as well as revisit the existing Energy Policy which doesn’t give wider market for them to sell power.
Under the existing policy, all power companies are forced to sell energy to TANESCO which still enjoys the monopoly to dominate the sector while unfortunately many power companies were still young.
Hale Sisal Energy Plant has projected to produce about 300MW in the coming years, with plans to raise at least 8bn/- to facilitate the master plan.
He said efforts to double power production from various sources were at the advanced stages that will see the company increase production by 2012.
"We are now undertaking various researches in collaboration with other stakeholders including the Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) and the University of Dar es Salaam.
We hope our farms in Mgombezi, Hale, Magoma, Magunga and Mwelya will manage to reach that target if all goes well as planned," he said.
Already according to him, Katani Ltd in 2008 established a company Mkonge Energy System Company Ltd (MeS) that will be responsible with overseeing power production tasks from the sisal remains, fibres, wind and hydro systems.
The company has approached various donors who have agreed in principle to fund the 300MW project and was now persuading the government for a guarantee.
Mr Shamte mentioned the possible financiers of the project as the World Bank, China Africa Fund, IFC, Tanzania Investment Bank and Social Security Funds of Tanzania.
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