Tanzanian project gets environmental approval

TANZANIA: Australian developer Windlab has received environmental approval for what could be the country's first wind farm.

Windlab's CEO said Miombi Hewani enjoys "an excellent wind resource"
Windlab's CEO said Miombi Hewani enjoys "an excellent wind resource"

The company’s Tanzanian subsidiary has been awarded an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) certificate for the up-to 300MW Miombo Hewani wind farm and transmission line.

Miombo Hewani would be built in several phases, with a first stage of around 100MW, including up-to 34 wind turbines, connected to the national electricity grid at the Makambako substation in the south of the country.

The wind farm itself would be situated 10km north of Makambako. The first phase would bring about $300 million of investment into Tanzania, Windlab stated.

Windlab stated it had been working on the project for three years before receiving the ESIA certificate. It was signed by the minister of state for union and environment Yusuf Makamba on 30 May, and is the first to be issued to a wind farm.

Roger Price, Windlab CEO, said: "Miombo Hewani enjoys an excellent wind resource, not only among the best on the continent, but one of the best in the world.

"The wind resource pattern is biased towards night time generation and generation during the dry season in Tanzania, making it an ideal addition for Tanzania’s current and planned electricity generation mix."

Frank Tarimo, a project development engineer with Windlab Tanzania, added that Mimbo Hewani would be in operation for at least 25 years.

Windlab secured a grant from the Finnish ministry for foreign affairs and will seek to secure further development finance investment to assist with the construction of the project, it stated.

The company has stakes in projects with a combined capacity of 324MW in its native Australia.

Tanzania currently has no wind farms in operation, but has three in development stages, according to Windpower Intelligence, the research and data division of Windpower Monthly.

The country’s electricity supply is mainly dependent on gas and hydro, according to the International Energy Agency.

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