Yesterday U.S. Ambassador to Tanzania Alfonso E. Lenhardt and Zanzibar President Mohammed Shein witnessed the installation of a 100 megawatt (MW), $28.1 million USD submarine power cable sponsored by the American People through the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC).
The new cable will be laid between the Mainland and Zanzibar, and will more than double the maximum capacity of the current cable being replaced. The submarine power cable is part of an overall $698.1 million USD MCC Compact signed in 2008 between the Governments of the United States and the United Republic of Tanzania and goes through September 2013.
The contract to manufacture, deliver, and install this new state-of-the-art submarine power cable was signed in April 2010 at the State House in Stone Town by representatives of the Millennium Challenge Account – Tanzania and the winning firm, Viscas Corporation of Japan. Despite challenges that included the tragic tsunami induced flooding and subsequent nuclear power problems in Japan, Viscas has succeeded in completing the 39 Kms of new submarine cable and delivering it on time.
Participating in the cable laying ceremony with His Excellency President Ali Mohamed Shein, Ambassador Lenhardt commented, “Every Zanzibari realizes the importance of an adequate and reliable power supply for this island. It is not only an essential foundation for economic growth and prosperity; it is fundamental to the very health and well-being of every resident of Zanzibar. Power is needed to light schools as well as businesses. Power is needed to keep the equipment and operating theatres in hospitals running. And power is needed to run the pumps that supply drinking water necessary for life itself. That is why I am especially proud to be here today, representing both President Obama and the American people whom we both serve. The American people are proud to partners in this Zanzibar Interconnector Project which will bring additional and more reliable power to Unguja.”
Other key components of the Zanzibar Interconnector Project are also nearing successful completion simultaneously. The firm called Kalpataru Power Transmission Limited (KPTL) is currently erecting 195 new monopoles that will hold a total of 37 Kms worth of overhead power lines which will bring the power from Ras Fumba where the submarine cable makes landfall to Mtoni near Stone Town. At Mtoni a new substation is being constructed by a joint venture between Alstom Grid and Symbion Power that will receive the power and distribute it throughout Unguja.
Press Release, October 11, 2012