Dubai firm invests $500m in Tanzania

East Africa Business Week | 7 November 2011
City Energy & Infrastructure will be involved in the development of a sugar plantation and sugar processing plant in an area of 100,000 hectares.


DAR ES SALAAM, TANZANIA -  In a bid to arouse investment and economy to the long-forgotten Kigoma region in western Tanzania, an international firm, City Energy & Infrastructure, is set to inject US$500 million investments in the region.

According to City Energy & Infrastructure, the amount will be used to undertake a number of projects including power generation, agriculture and mining in Kigoma region.

The investment move is a deliberate move by the Tanzania Government to boost economic development in 'peripheral' regions whose potential for development is large but lacked viable investments.

It is also part of the recent Government efforts to turn the western flanks of the  country into Kigoma Special Economic Zone (KISEZ) which was inaugurated by Tanzania President Jakaya Kikwete but it is yet to fully take off.

Under the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the Government of Tanzania and City Energy & Infrastructure, the firm has agreed to build a thermal power plant with a capacity to produce between 150 megawatt of electricity and 200 MW which will be channeled to the national grid and light up Kigoma region with reliable power.

 "The envisioned coal powered plant will be located in nearly Rukwa Region with transmission lines to Kigoma, said Sekulu Selungwi the Kigoma Regional Administrative Secretary (RAS).

He said that the Dubai firm would also be involved in the development of sugar plantation and sugar processing plant in an area 100,000 hectares. The sugar processing is expected to consume up 20,000 tonnes of sugar canes per day in Kigoma.

According to the Irfan Khan, a Director and shareholder of the City Energy & Infrastructure, the firm will also construct East Africa's first ever copper smelter with a capacity of 300,000 tonnes of blister copper per year. "The copper refinery will process around 1.2 million tonnes of copper ore per annum," said Khan. Rukwa region, which north of Zambia's Copper Belt, is known to have huge copper reserves but  has never been mined.

The Dubai firm expects to start construction of the copper mine within the next 36 months.

Mr. Rajendra Patil, another company director said his firm said the company is committed to devise programmes that would provide training, by setting up industrial training institutions, providing assistance to small farmers by providing them with seeds, fertilizers, training and rental equipment.

He also said the company has plans to support small-scale copper miners, primary mining leaseholders, avail technology and guaranteed purchase of the ore.

City Energy & Infrastructure is made up of two major business outfits - SS Group of India and Dubai Pearl Group of United Arab Emirates (UAE). It also includes a state-owned public sector company M/S Singareni Collieries Company Ltd and M/S Fitchner India Ltd, as its consortium partners.

The attraction of large investors in western Tanzania, especially Kigoma and Rukwa regions will greatly enhance the economies of Lake Tanganyika zone because the zone has direct links to the riparian states of Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia, thus boosting all economies of the Great Lakes.

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