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Tanelec Limited invests and expands to serve Africa’s growing needs.

Transformers and switchgears are an essential part of enabling utilities to distribute the energy they generate to their customers. The utilities’ customers range from domestic consumers to small, medium and large businesses. Without transformers we would not have lights in our homes, or be able to run what are becoming everyday essentials to many people, such as fridges, cookers, TV’s and Computers, the list is endless. They light our streets, deliver power to our hospitals, shops, businesses and industries. Without the availability of power there would be no development, no progress and no economy.

In the East Africa Region only around 12% to 15% of the population have access to electricity and that can be as low as 3% in rural areas and that compares to around 95% to 100% in developed countries. Our East Africa governments and utilities are working hard to improve these statistics within the financing constraints that often prevail.
Transformers are defined as static pieces of apparatus with two or more windings which, by electromagnetic induction, transforms a system of alternating voltage and current into another system of voltage and current usually at different values and at the same frequency for the purpose of transmitting electrical power.



Now, to many of us that may sound a bit technical but in simple terms the voltage generated is transmitted at high voltage with small currents and transformers step the voltage down to the lower voltage with high currents to satisfy the loads and voltages we receive in our homes and businesses. If the voltage was transmitted at the lower level the size of the cables required to do so would be massive and also there would be a large power loss and voltage drop which would result in the voltage delivered being lower than what is required to run our appliances. The method of transmitting at high voltage and then using a transformer to step down close to consumers ensures that the voltage we receive is correct and stable and it is the only economic option to do so.


Tanelec is the largest manufacturer of transformers in the East and Central Africa Region and transformers represent around 75% of turnover. They have been producing transformers at their specially equipped plant in Arusha since 1981. Tanelec has ISO 9001:2015 international quality accreditation and ISO 14001:2015 environmental standard accreditation. Last year the company received the President’s award for the best large electrical manufacturer in Tanzania. With the ever increasing demand for its products and their strategy to increase market share in the region and increase its market footprint, Tanelec has been investing in new plant and equipment and have commenced a project to increase its production area by around 75% and to triple its production capacity. Currently Tanelec is commissioning 2.0 MUSD of new plant and more is in the pipeline.


The Tanelec Managing Director, Zahir Saleh, point out “what we are doing now will also create employment opportunities covering a variety of skills from technicians to graduate engineers as well as providing business opportunities for local suppliers and service providers”.
The Tanelec MD further points out “Tanelec does complete manufacturing of transformers in Arusha, it is not just assembly of components we buy. We convert our raw materials into the finished products. We also have the capability to engineer all our products in-house”.



Tanelec’s transformers and switchgears are supplied to Tanesco and to private sector customers in Tanzania. In addition, Tanelec exports to Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique and Democratic Republic of Congo.

Standing still is not an option for Tanelec as explained by the Tanelec MD “we need to strive for continuous improvement. Our competitors are all trying to be better at what they do with regards to quality, pricing and reducing order to delivery lead times. We must do our best to be the preferred supplier of our products with the ever increasing competition we see as more and more people recognize Africa as having the most future potential compared with any other continent”.


Tanelec is committed to developing and training its employees, ensuring employee and public safety, ensuring minimal negative impact to the environment and is committed to fostering good social relationships with is local community.

Tanelec’s list of products include: distribution transformers at all ratings up to 5,000 KVA and 36 Kilo Volts, Low and medium voltage switchgear, and it has as service and repair division. Tanelec also has the capability to repair products made by other manufacturers. Tanelec can repair transformers to an “as new” condition for a maximum of 50% of the cost of buying a new unit and also give a full “as new” guarantee.
Tanelec’s Business Development Manager, Michael Kariithi, also explains “more and more customers are recognizing the benefits of servicing their products rather than waiting for a failure to occur. Through ensuring regular servicing carried out by our specialist team the life expectancy of these products can be significantly extended”.


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