During his visit to Tanzania, Egyptian Minister of Housing Assem El-Gazzar participated in the ceremony celebrating the operation of the first turbine of the Julius Nyerere Dam and hydroelectric station on Rufiji River. Accompanying the Minister were Sherif Ismail, Egyptian Ambassador to Tanzania; Major General Mahmoud Nassar, Head of the Central Agency for Reconstruction; Ahmed al-Assar, Chairman of the of the Arab Contractors Company (AC); and Ahmed Elsewedy, President and CEO of Elsewedy Electric Group, in addition to high profile figures from both AC and Elsewedy Group.
In 2018, a consortium was made between Arab Contractors and Elsewedy Group to build the Julius Nyerere Dam and hydroelectric power station over the Rufiji River. The contract signing of the USD2.9 billion project was witnessed by the late President of Tanzania, John Magufuli, and Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly. The dam should control the flood and protect Tanzanian land from the dangers of floods; it should also store an annual 34 billion cubic metres of water in an artificial reservoir, thus ensuring consistent availability of water throughout the year for agricultural purposes, and preserving the surrounding wildlife in one of Africa’s largest forests.
The power station is expected to generate 6307 megawatts per hour annually, thus catering to the needs of 17 million Tanzanian families.
The Egyptian Minister said that construction of the 1025-metre-long dam has been completed, explaining that 18 billion cubic metres of water have already been stored in the dam reservoir, reaching a level of 169.5 metres above sea level; turbines operate once storage reaches 163 metres above sea level, Dr Gazzar said. The power station is located on the side of the Rufiji River in a nature reserve in the Morgoro area, southwest of Dar es Salaam, the largest city in Tanzania.
Dr Gazzar thanked the Egyptian consortium Arab Contractors-Elsewedy Electric for their achievement, pointing out that President Sisi has consistently followed on the project, seeing its great significance to the Tanzanian people and to the development of Tanzania.
For their part, officials working with the Egyptian consortium said that the project is now 96 per cent complete. They explained that this includes the main dam works, the intake works and three tunnels for the passage of water to the turbine building, also the power distribution and connection station, four saddle dams that form the water reservoir, and a concrete bridge that connects the two banks of the Rufiji River. The bridge is one of the most important elements of the project owing to the role it plays in carrying the large and heavy turbine parts. The 50-metre-high flyover is lifted by only two columns, and is among the country’s greatest structures and will be one of the main parts of the international road linking Tanzania and Mozambique.
Project officials also said that 80 per cent of the works related to the permanent access roads that connect the project elements have been completed. Works are ongoing on the turbine building, and the turbines are now being tested, they said.
Little more than a year ago, in late December 2022, Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry had joined Tanzania’s President Samia Hassan in inaugurating the first filling of the Egyptian-built Julius Nyerere Dam on Rufiji River.
“The Egyptian-Tanzanian collaboration in the construction of the Julius Nyerere Hydroelectric Power Project (JNHPP) reflects Egypt’s commitment to the development of Nile Basin countries and demonstrates that cooperation between Nile Basin countries is possible with the right political will,” Mr Shoukry said at the inauguration ceremony on 22 December 2022. “As of today,” Mr Shoukry said, “the Rufiji River delta bids farewell to the floods that caused the death and loss of thousands, most of them children, and the seasonal swamps, which are the main cause of the spread of dangerous diseases.”
President Hassan thanked Egypt for its role in the construction of the JNHPP, saying that the dam project represents sustainable development for the country and opens many avenues for development in agricultural projects.
24 January 2024