TANELEC Limited, the leading Eastern Africa transformer manufacturer, is planning to start producing power transformer locally, a bid that will save the nation billions of foreign currencies annually.
Tanelec said current power transformers are imported since are not produced locally despite huge national and regional market potential.
Tanelec Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Zahir Saleh said they have started the process of seeing the possibility of producing them since they have skilled capacity but lacks financial muscles.
“This is the area we are venturing to and in the next two to three years we will start to produce them locally,” Mr Saleh told journalists during tour to his factory in Arusha organised by Bank of Tanzania.
Power transformers are used in transmission network of higher voltages for step-up and step down application (400 kV, 200 kV, 110 kV, 66 kV, 33kV) and are generally rated above 200MVA.
While, distribution transformers are used for lower voltage distribution networks as a means to end user connectivity.
Mr Saleh said they are facing financial constraints to venture into production. But he said they are currently working on one for Kidatu Hydropower transformer and once completion will pave way for more production of units.
Tanelec, a joint venture between Tanzania government (30percent) and Transcentury (70percent), current has the capacity to produced 14,000 distribution transformers and export 30 per cent of their products to Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia.
The firm started some 40 years ago, also produced skid and agriculture transformers, metering units and switch gears. Last year Tanelec exported 300 transformers to utilities companies and 100 to private uses in the region.
Currently, the firm, largest in the regional, is eyeing two tenders from Kenya Electricity Generating Company, (KenGen) and also rural electrification.
However, the firm is facing a number of challenges including tax accessing from Tanzania Revenue Authority’s assessors who not only takes time but also inflated figures—despite showing appropriate evidences.
Others are financial constraints especially banks are dwelling on risk factors instead of looking at the opportunities laying ahead.
Tanelec design and manufacture distribution transformers with well experienced electrical and mechanical designers.
“We use our own specialised design software for transformer design with up-todate technology based on their vast experience and extensive ongoing research and development commitments,” Mr Saleh said.
The Tanelec transformers comply with the International Electro technical Commission (IEC) and Tanzania Bureau of Standard (TBS).