Tanzania begins construction of giant hydropower dam

The construction of Tanzania’s largest hydroelectric power project officially began on Friday after President John Magufuli laid the foundation stone. 

Upon completion, the Stiegler’s Gorge hydroelectric power project is expected to double the East African country’s current power output.

The grand project will cost Tanzania $3 billion, and targets to generate 2,115 megawatts of electricity. 

The idea of constructing the dam was first conceived by founding president Julius Nyerere, but had to be shelved due to financial constraints. 

President Magufuli’s government is however keen to have the project up and running, as it sees this as a solution to the country’s power outages. 

The project involves a main dam and appurtenant structures, with expected reservoir length of 100 kilometers, covering an area of about 1,350 square km. The dam height is expected to rise to about 134 meters.

The massive project is part of Tanzania’s power master plan, which envisions Stiegler’s Gorge helping interconnect the grids of Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Zambia.

The dam will be fourth-largest in Africa and ninth in the world.