Job at GVEP - Mwenga Feasibility Study on productive us of eletricity for small businesses


Organization: GVEP International
Country: United Republic of Tanzania
Closing date: 25 Apr 2016

1.1. Rift Valley Energy Ltd. (RVE) is a privately owned renewable-energy project development company, dedicated to own and operate renewable energy infrastructure projects in Eastern and Southern Africa (with current focus on Tanzania). In Tanzania RVE has already established a solid presence, with one combined generation and distribution business implemented (“Mwenga
Hydro Project”) and an adjacent rural distribution project currently under development (“Mwenga’s Rural Network Expansion into the Kihansi basin”).

The Mwenga Hydro Project (developed in cooperation with the EU/ACP Energy Facility and the Rural Energy Agency of Tanzania) is a comprehensive, state of the art renewable energy generation and distribution project, located in the Mufindi district, Southern-Tanzania. It currently operates a 4MW hydro-power-station and 145 km of rural distribution network, supplying (as back-up facility) the local tea industry, 17 villages and the national utility (TANESCO), with an annual generation out-put of 21,5 GW/h of grid-quality, renewable electricity (approx. 0.5% of the national usage). The
project has developed and deployed an innovative state of the art cell-phone based, pre-paid-electricity-vending-system, supplying to date more than 1,600 rural households with cheap, green, on-demand electricity (it is anticipated that another 1000 households will be connected in this area).

Mwenga Hydro's Rural Network Expansion into the Kihansi basin (in cooperation with the EU/ACP Energy Facility): This project is currently expanding Mwenga Hydro’s rural network through the construction of an additional 180 km of distribution network, with the aim to supply further 15
villages (3.000 households) located in the neighbouring Kihansi Basin (currently with no access to permanent/grid electricity).

1.2. GVEP International is a non-profit organization working to increase access to affordable and sustainable energy services and reduce poverty in developing countries. GVEP is involved in assisting RVE in enhancing the productive use of electricity by businesses connected or being connected in these 32 villages and promotion of electricity usage amongst the domestic consumers.

1.3. The Forestry Development Trust (FDT) is an independent institution set-up to work with the public and private sectors to drive a long-term programme ultimately aimed at transforming the sector. 
It plans to: 
a) Increase the supply of higher-value wood products and energy from sustainable sources; b) Increase smallholder planting and employment in sustainable private forestry;
c) Raise net incomes for the sector’s smallholders; and d) Ensure quality services and industry functions are provided sustainably. FDT is working to promote the sustainable growth of Tanzania’s forestry sector and ensure large and small-scale growers can exploit compelling opportunities in commercial timber and energy markets,


The main project objective is to support 160 micro-businesses, some to be clustered together in productive use centers, using electricity from the Mwenga grid. The targeted businesses would likely be in the areas of wood manufacturing (i.e. carpentry workshops), metal and welding workshops, eggs incubations, chicken rearing, grains mills, mechanical and repair garages, timber dealers, tailoring marts, LUKU and MPESA agents. These are our initial ideas but the consultant should use
their independent judgement in recommending appropriate business activities to focus on. The project will also aim at attracting around 20 SMEs into the area covered by the Mwenga grid. These will be larger businesses, employing at least 10 people and operating at some scale. Forestry related activity is likely to be an area of focus for many of these SMEs.

A second objective of the project is increasing domestic connections, through more effective promotional activity and customer engagement. Currently around 1,600 households in the area covered by the Mwenga grid are connected to a power supply. The project aims to increase that to 2500 households, and to connect a further 3000 households in the Kihansi basin villages.

In order to plan and execute the project successfully, it will be important to undertake a feasibility study of the local business opportunities as well as investigate innovative ways to stimulate the uptake of household connections. This will assist us to achieve the project objectives and targets. Therefore, the consultant along with GVEP will undertake a study for 4-5 weeks in April/May 2016.


The Consultant will undertake the tasks listed below for the feasibility study:

i. Technical analysis of the current infrastructure 

An analysis will be carried out on the social/load profiling of the current customers catered to by the plant.
• Review existing infrastructure and conditions, including operational considerations
• Technical characteristics like generation data, auxiliary consumption, seasonality, etc.
• Existing load profile/consumption pattern through the day by customer segment – there are two tariff levels
• Mapping of the customers by consumer segment along the project area – both domestic and business customers
• Evaluate the payment/recharge history of the current consumers by segment and area on the prepaid metering system 

ii. Evaluation of the project area Detailed understanding of the project area covering the 32 villages across Mufindi and Kihansi basin.
• To study the geography, locations and characteristics of the project area covering the 32 villages, including proximity to main roads and local market centres
• Mapping of the villages and focus on the occupation and livelihood activities
• Identify the location for potential productive use centers within the project area
• Mapping the market opportunities in each of these target villages 

iii. Domestic connections
To assess the consumption patterns of the domestic users as they use modest amounts of electricity and investigating the scope to increase the consumption, perhaps through encouraging the purchase of modern appliances.
• To survey a sample of 50 households connected to the Mwenga project and 50 households not connected to the project within the existing distribution network
• The output of the survey should be analysed to provide an informed view of the following key indicators:
Ø Motivation for connecting
Ø Current patterns of energy use/appliances
Ø Barriers to connecting
Ø Scope of innovative packaging of costs and electricity use
Ø Safety concerns
• Defining the promotional strategy in the existing network and the planned network based on the aforementioned analysis

iv. Micro-business opportunities
To assess the potential of business expansion amongst the already
connected businesses and the potential of new businesses within the project
area, especially as a part of the productive use centers through surveys

The project is seeking a reputable firm to undertake feasibility studies for one or
more of the project sites. Collectively, the study team will have a strong background
in rural electrification and in the following areas:
• Research and sales expertise
• Experience in the rural electricity sector and understanding of technology is
• Strong skills in surveys and consultation
• Strong analytical and drafting skills
• Fluency in English and Swahili• Knowledge of the Mufundi area is ideal

How to apply:

Please submit the proposal by 25th April 2016 to Mr. Abishek Bharadwaj at the following email: [email protected]

More details on http://www.gvepinternational.org/en/business/news/Mwenga-Feasibility-Study
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