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World Bank approves 455-mln-USD
loan for power project in Tanzania   

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- The World Bank has approved 455 million U.S. dollars of loan for a project aimed at providing households in previously grid-absent rural regions in southern Tanzania with reliable access to electricity, a statement issued by the bank said on Thursday.

The project will also connect the East African country to regional power trading markets, said the statement issued in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam.

It added that the loan will finance construction of critical high voltage transmission infrastructure that will support the electrification of the southern and northwestern regions of Tanzania.

The project will also establish cross-border transmission capacity connecting Tanzania with the Southern African Power Pool and the Eastern Africa Power Pool, said the statement.

“This project builds on the great potential of the country’s southern regions to contribute to the generation of jobs and drive overall economic growth, with the right infrastructure in place,” said Bella Bird, the World Bank Country Director for Tanzania, Malawi, Burundi and Somalia.

Nataliya Kulichenko, World Bank senior energy specialist who is also the task team leader of the project, said the construction of high voltage transmission infrastructure was vital for Tanzania’s interconnection with the regional power markets of the southern and eastern Africa.



Tanzania-Zambia railway appeals for more funding

ARUSHA Tanzania (Xinhua) -- The Tanzania Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) on Thursday appealed to member states to inject more funds to improve the railway line’s operations and performance.

Bentram Kiswaga, TAZARA deputy managing director, said in a statement that additional investments will go a long way in ensuring the performance of the railway is improved.

Kiswaga said the bi-national railway needs to procure 20 reliable locomotives to increase carriage capacity.

Currently, the Chinese-funded and -built railway has only seven reliable locomotives used for passengers and wagons with each one carrying 30,000 tonnes annually.

Citing achievements scored for three years (2014/2015 up to May 2018), the official noted that TAZARA freight volumes had increased from 88,000 tonnes to 208,000 tonnes.

Others scores were the improvement of transit time from 20-30 days to 5-7 days consistently and almost zero theft in the last three years.

Kiswaga said despite the achievements, it was unable to pay salaries as it is not making profits. TAZARA needs to transport 600,000 tonnes annually to be profitable.

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