Tanzania Electric Supply Company Limited (TANESCO) is a Parastatal organization established by Memorandum and Articles of Association incorporated on 26th November 1931 which established Tanzania Electric Supply Company Limited (the then Tanganyika Electric Supply Company Limited -TANESCO). The Company generates, purchases, transmits, distributes, and sells electricity to Tanzania Mainland and sells bulk power to the Zanzibar Electricity Corporation (ZECO), which in turn sells it to the public in islands Unguja and Pemba. TANESCO owns most of the electricity generating, transmitting, and distributing facilities in Tanzania Mainland with an estimated population of over 50 million.

Historically, the German colonialists established the first public electricity supply in Tanzania, the then called Tanganyika in 1908 at Dar es Salaam. It served the railway workshops and a part of the town where the colonialists were mostly staying. In 1920, when Tanganyika territory was put under Great Britain protectorate, a Government Electricity Department was formed to take over and operate the public supplies left by the Germans. In 1931, the Government handed over the undertaking at Dar es Salaam and those elsewhere upcountry (Dodoma, Tabora, and Kigoma) to private enterprises. One of these companies was the Tanganyika Electric Supply Company Ltd. (TANESCO) and the other Company was the Dar es Salaam and District Electric Supply Company Ltd (DARESCO). The two companies were merged in 1964 and later changed their name into Tanzania Electric Supply Company (TANESCO).

Tanzania Development Vision 2025 envisages to make the Country the middle income by 2025, this implies that GDP per Capita will be raised from USD 640 to at least USD 3,000 by 2025. To achieve this target, we need fast economic growth which must be propelled by an adequate, reliable, affordable, and environmentally-friendly electricity supply. Therefore Generation capacity needs to be increased from 1,583 MW to at least 10,000 MW by 2025.

In undertaking its core functions TANESCO is guided by the National Energy Policy of 2003 and Electricity act of 2008. TANESCO Ltd functions under the regulatory guidance of the Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority (EWURA) established by the EWURA Act of 2001. In complying with the above directives, the Company has come up with a structure that reduces operational costs without compromising performance and efficiency. It has also considered the National Agenda for Industrialization that aims at transforming Tanzania’s economy into middle income.



“Leading provider of energy solutions that drive sustainable economic prosperity in Africa”


“Deliver customer-focused energy solutions through investment in our people, innovation and modernizing our infrastructure”

1.1.3.Core Values

The following are core values of TANESCO:-

Customer "Kwanza" We put our customers first at the core of the business and provide outstanding service with each interaction and build a long-term relationship.

Safety: We are uncompromising in our commitment to the safety of our employees, customers, community, and natural environment.

Integrity: We upload the highest ethical standards and promote trust and respect in all our business endeavors.

Teamwork: We achieve our goal by embracing diversity and supporting each other.

Innovation: We are encouraging creative thinking for continuous improvement and adding value.

Passion: We have an unyielding drive to the work we do and strive for the success of the company.

1.2.Mandates and Functions of TANESCO

The Memorandum and Articles of Association incorporated on 26th November 1931 stipulates the following mandates:-

  1. Generation- To undertakes power generation activities through plants owned by TANESCO, both National grid-connected and off-grid stations. Other sources of generation are from independent power producers (IPPs) which feed the National Grid and isolated areas as well as Small Power Producers (SPPs).
  2. Transmission- To undertakes power transmission activities including operations and maintenance of the power grid system. TANESCO owns an interconnected power grid made up of a generation, transmission, and distribution system.
  3. Distribution-This area covers power Distribution activities and general Customer Service issues.

Development and Construction since Independence Immediately after Independence,

TANESCO started planning new power projects in order to meet the increasing industrial, commercial and rural township power supply demands. Studies to develop the country’s hydroelectric resource were commended in order to reduce the cost of generation using imported diesel oil.

Hale Hydropower Plant

In 1962, construction of the 21-MW Hale hydropower station on the Pangani River, upstream from Pangani Falls, was started, with an associated transmission line from hale to Dar es Salaam. This power station was commissioned and formally opened by President Nyerere in 1964. At the same time, supplies were extended to virtually all of the sisal estates in the Pangani area by the addition of branches at Kilosa, Kimamba, and Lushoto.

Other small Generation and Transmission Projects

In 1967, augmentation of the existing generation and distribution systems in several towns was commenced. Construction of the Ubungo diesel power station in Dar es Salaam, to replace the old Kurasini plant, was completed in 1969. In the same year, the 8MW Nyumba ya Mungu hydropower station on the headwaters of the Pangani River, and its associated transmission in 1969, while at Mwanza and Arusha extensions to the existing stations of 9MW and 6MW respectively were completed to Tanga by a 65km wood pole transmission line, and a transmission line to connect Morogoro to the line from Hale at Chalinze was also built. The Moshi system was extended to Machame. Various local extensions to the Dar es Salaam, Tanga and Morogoro systems were made to feed new industrial complexes and factories. Electrification to Rural Areas and Small Townships In 1965 the Tanzania Government declared a policy regarding electricity supplies to areas where economical operations were doubtful. Under this policy, it was agreed that if TANESCO was required to provide power supply to townships which for some time might be uneconomic, then the company would be subsidized by either the Government, the local authority of prospective large consumers in the areas. Following this policy decision, feasibility studies were conducted on several townships and subsequently the Government electricity installations at Nachingwea and Mpwapwa were taken over by TANESCO. New branches at Singida and Shinyanga were established and, in 1966, new power at Musoma and Tukuyu were commissioned. In 1969 supplies to Mafia Island, Himo and Marangu were established.

Extension of the Moshi system to Machame District was completed in 1974 with the electrification of Chamwino, Ndurugumi, Kigwe, Kiabakari, and Butiama Ujamaa villages. In 1970’s Handeni, Tarime/Utegi, Kahama, Nzega, Njombe, Babati, Kondoa, Sumbawanga, Tunduma, Same and Bagamoyo townships were electrified.

TANESCO and DARESCO decide to merge into a single organization to produce TANESCO, which exists today. It was in 1968 that the name Tanzania Electric Supply Company Limited was adapted. The Government is currently the sole shareholder in TANESCO.

Great Ruaha Power Project

In 1968 proposals to build the first large hydroelectric power station in Tanzania were accepted by the Tanzania Government and agreement to finance the project was reached among the Government, the World Bank, and the Swedish International Development Authority. This development was at Kidatu on the Great Ruaha River, which was the implementation of the three phases Great Ruaha Power Project (GRPP).

Construction of the first phase started in 1969. This involved a 40m high, rock-fill dam; an underground power station large enough to accommodated four 50MW machines; about 350km of high – voltage transmission line from Kidatu to Dar es Salaam; and the installation of two generating units to supply 100MW to the grid system. Phase 1 of this project was commissioned in mid-1975 and inaugurated by President J.K Nyerere in the same year.

Phase 11 development of the Great Ruaha Power Project started in 1977 and involved the construction of a 45 m concrete dam at Mtera, 170km upstream from Kidatu, installation of the two remaining 50MW generating units at Kidatu power station; and the relocation of the Iringa/Dodoma road to pass over the Mtera dam. These works were completed in early 1981.

Kidatu/Dar es salaam, Hale/Moshi and Kidatu - Iringa Mufindi transmission lines

Associated with the Kidatu development was the construction of 350 km of high voltage transmission line from Kidatu to Dar es Salaam to connect the power station to the coastal grid. The line was financed by the Canadian and Tanzania Governments and was commissioned in 1975.

In order to connect the northern towns of Arusha and Moshi to the coastal grid system, a transmission line from Hale power station to the Kiyungi substation at Moshi was commissioned in 1975. This was also financed by the Canadian and Tanzania Governments.

In 1979 work commenced on the second major transmission line from the Kidatu power station. This line, to be commissioned in 1983, runs westward to Iringa & then to the Mufindi pulp and paper mill. It was planned to extend the line from Mufindi to Mbeya by 1984.

In 1976, through the Canadian International Development Agency, TANESCO Commissioned Acres International Limited of Canada as consulting engineers to develop a master plan for the development of the electricity supply system for the next 30 years or so. The plan will be periodically reviewed to ensure that it remains compatible with actual system growth, with revised load forecasts, and with changing economic circumstances.

The installed capacity of the hydroelectric power station at Kidatu was doubled in 1980 and its capability was augmented by the construction of the storage dam and reservoir at Mtera, opened by President J.K Nyerere in February 1981.

In addition to building large hydropower stations to serve the transmission grid system, TANESCO has to continue upgrading its diesel-powered units at isolated centers. In 1983 new diesel power stations at Mbeya, Dodoma and Tabora were commissioned. Six diesel sets were delivered in 1981 for installation at other existing stations, either to augment the installed capacity or to replace worn-out units.

In 1992, the government of Tanzania established the Parastatal Sector Reform Commission (PSRC) whose main responsibilities were to ensure smooth privatization of the public corporations with the aim of enhancing their efficiency. Since then the government has removed TANESCO’s monopoly as the sole power generating and distributing company.

TANESCO established a business planning process in 1996 and the first corporate business plan was out in 1997. The main objective of the Corporate Plan was to collectively assess and manage risks in aspiring to achieve organisational long-term goals. It helps management to assess the company’s capacity to survive shocks, to adapt to sudden change, and to capture new opportunities.