Tanzania experiences massive blackout after fault at national grid

What you need to know:

  • Darkness engulfed the nation after electricity went off at 2 am on April 1.

Dar es Salaam. Tanzanians connected to the national grid were forced to finish Easter celebrations on Easter Monday without electricity.

Darkness engulfed the nation after electricity went off at 2 am on April 1.

The Tanzania Electric Company (Tanesco) faced some challenges in the transmission system at the national electricity grid.

In a video circulating on social media as well as a statement, Utility Firm Spokesperson Kenneth Boymanda notified customers that there was an error in the electricity transmission system. He said the problem started around 2.22 am.

According to him, following the problem, all the regions connected to the grid were cut off. "Our experts are continuing their efforts to restore services," he said.

A few hours later, electricity was partially restored, though it was intermittent.

The electricity supply challenge comes after operations at the Julius Nyerere Hydropower Project, with an initial supply of 235 MW, were injected into the national grid, reducing the power shedding that had faced the country since last year.

The government also envisages that it will reduce power cuts in the country by 85 percent and be an energy boon to East Africa.

The hydropower plant has a capacity of 2,115 MW.

Tanesco identifies cause of power outage

In a recent development, Tanesco has disclosed the reason behind the Easter Monday power outage that affected the regions connected to the national grid.

In a statement released today, April 1st, 2024, Tanesco attributed the outage to a technical fault within the national grid system, specifically originating from a malfunction in the water level control system at the Kidatu hydroelectric power plants.

This unforeseen issue led to an influx of water beyond manageable levels, triggering an automatic shutdown of the plants to safeguard the infrastructure, consequently impacting electricity supply across the country.

The statement further explained that in response to this challenge, Dr Doto Mashaka Biteko, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy, directed all ministry personnel and Tanesco officials on holiday to report to work immediately, and collectively focus on restoring electricity supply to all the affected areas.

Dr Biteko was on his way to visit the Kidatu station to oversee the progress and ensure an effective resolution.

According to Tanesco, efforts are underway to rectify the situation, with the faulty water intake control systems at the Kidatu station already replaced and new installations completed.

Teams are working to remove water from the affected engine rooms, while the process of restarting power generation units has commenced.

Some regions, including Iringa, Tanga, Pemba, Unguja, and some areas of Dar es Salaam and Pwani, have already begun receiving electricity from alternative power sources such as the Pangani and Ubungo number 2 power plants.