The Tanzanian government plans to start operating the Julius Nyerere hydroelectric dam, in June 2022, when the first of nine turbines go into operation.
Work is 63% complete on the facility, which will feed 2,115 MW, at peak, into Tanzania’s national power grid.
Egyptian companies, Elsewedy Electric and Arab Construction, the two EPC contractors, have almost completed the dam construction and are now focused on the hydroelectric plant, which will be located at the foot of the dam. Each of the proposed nine vertical Francis turbines units will be capable of delivering 235 MW of power, for a total capacity of 2,115 MW.
The dam will be filled in November 2021, to go by the Tanzanian government’s timetable. By June 2022, the first turbine will start supplying electricity to the Tanzanian Electricity Supply Company (TANESCO) grid.
Work is currently focused on the installation of the draft tubes at the base of the ninth turbine, which will evacuate water from the electricity generators.
The plant could be fully operational by 2027.
The Julius Nyerere Hydroelectric Dam will be one of the largest hydroelectric dams on the African continent, behind the 6,450 MW Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (Gerd) and the 2,400 MW Batoka Gorge Dam on the Zambezi River between Zimbabwe and Zambia. Standing 134m high and capable of holding 32.3 billion m3 of water, with a reservoir covering an area of 1,350km². The Julius Nyerere dam is built on the Rufiji River and is one of the most contested projects because of its environmental impact, as it is located in the heart of the Selous National Park. The Tanzanian government has had to cut down 2.6Million trees before work begins in June 2019.