An Egyptian delegation headed by Assem El-Gazzar, the minister of housing, and Tanzanian Energy Minister January Makamba, as well as a number of Tanzanian officials and personnel pose for a picture during an inspection tour at the Julius Nyerere Hydroelectric Power Project, 7 December 2021. Egyptian Cabinet Facebook page.
The JNHPP, which is located in the Morogoro area on the Rufiji River in Tanzania, is being built through a joint venture of two Egyptian companies, the Arab Contractors Company and Elsewedy Electric, and is planned to secure a clean power supply for more than 60 million Tanzanians as well as control water flow during flooding.
Around 9 million workers – 8 million Tanzanians and 1 million Egyptian and foreign workers – are working in the project, an Egyptian Cabinet statement cited Mahmoud Nassar, head of the Central Agency for Reconstruction and head of the following up committee of the project, as saying.
The number of working hours at the project has totaled 50 million hours so far, Ahmed El-Assar, senior vice chairman of the Arab Contractors Company, said during the inspection tour.
El-Assar added that a total of 1,410 machines are operating at the project site.
The implementation of the mega project comes amid several challenges that are dealt with through continued coordination between the Egyptian housing ministry and the consortium, with the support of the Egyptian leadership and Cabinet, Nassar said.
These challenges have included a heavy flood that hit the project site, sinking some equipment and leading to a work stoppage at the project’s river diversion tunnel, Nassar explained.
Challenges have also included the fact that the project is taking place in a dense forest, Nassar said, adding that it took a year to select a manufacturer and exporter of the dam turbines.
The consortium began installing the first turbine for the project in August as part of nine turbines, each with a capacity of 235 mw, with the total planned hydropower dam’s capacity standing at 2,115 mw.
In November, Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said that the dam is a “symbol of friendship and cooperation” between Egypt and Tanzania.
"This project is an example of Egypt’s support for the rights of Nile Basin countries to make the best use of their water resources in a way that does not impact other countries negatively," the president said at a press conference with his Tanzanian counterpart Samia Hassan in Cairo.
The dam is 1,025 metres long at the summit and 131 metres high with a storage capacity of about 34 billion cubic metres of water. When complete, the JNHPP will be the largest in Tanzania, and the energy generated to be transmitted through transmission lines at a voltage of 400 Kilovolts to a substation where it will be integrated into the national electricity grid.
The project dates back to August 2017, when Tanzania announced bids for the construction of the dam, which were later won by the Egyptian consortium.
In February 2019, the government of Tanzania handed over the construction site to the Egyptian companies and construction began in the third quarter of 2019.
The project is scheduled to be completed by 2022.