Sumitomo has started construction on the $312.6m Kinyerezi natural gas-fired combined cycle power plant in Tanzania.

Said to be the country’s first natural gas-fired combined cycle power plant, the 240MW Kinyerezi facility is being built 30km south-west of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Sumitomo is carrying out construction as part of an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract it secured from the state-run Tanzania Electric Supply (Tanesco).

"Electricity that will be enough to serve nearly 20% of the country’s total power needs."

The power plant uses six Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) built H-25 gas turbines and generators to produce electricity that will be enough to serve nearly 20% of the country’s total power needs.

Planned to be commissioned in early 2018, the power plant will be handed over to Tanesco in the following September.

Toshiba Plant Systems & Services will be responsible for the supply of heat recovery boilers, steam turbines and other equipment. It will also undertake civil and installation works, as well as coordinate technical matters.

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The project is being backed by Sumitomo Mitsui Banking (SMBC) and Japan Bank for International.

It will help Tanzania meet the growing power needs as it faces a decline in hydroelectric power generation, the country’s primary power source.

In addition, the project is expected to contribute to improving Tanzania’s basic infrastructure as a part of the ‘Partnership for Quality Infrastructure’ initiative, which is being supported by the Japanese government with funding, insurance and technology.