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Sithole Edwin Mwakatage
Kikuletwa Renewable Energy Centre for Training, Research and Power Generation
Arusha Technical College

P.O.Box 296
Arusha

Mobile: +255 754 399 922/+255 784 399 922
Email: emsithole@yahoo.co.uk/sithole.e.mwakatage@daad-alumni.de

Kikuletwa Renewable Energy Training Centre, Tanzania
“Where Skills Meet Practice”

by Sithole Edwin Mwakatage, Tanzania (PPRE 2006-08)

Background

Arusha Technical College

The institution which has become the Arusha Technical College (ATC), was established in 1978 jointly by the Governments of the United Republic of Tanzania and Germany, under the name of the Technical College Arusha (TCA). The College is located at the Central Business District of the Arusha City which is Northern Tanzania’s centre of agriculture, commerce, trade and tourism. Arusha City is also the head quarter of the East Africa Community and is the central point in Africa between Cape Town and Cairo. It is surrounded by famous mountains such as Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru. In addition, it is the door to the world’s great wildlife refuges including Ngorongoro Crater, Serengeti and Tarangire. All these make the location of the college an ideal place for education, training and applied research.

The college is accredited by the National Council for Technical Education (NACTE) to run and grant awards to successful candidates in technician and engineering programmes. Awards offered are ordinary diploma namely the National Technical Level (NTA) 4 – 6 and the prospective Bachelor of Engineering namely the National Technical Level (NTA) 7 - 8.

Vision and Mission of the College

ATC has vision and mission statements derived from the Technical Education and Training Policy (1996), which in turn evolved from the National Vision 2025.  Tanzania Vision 2025 targets at high quality livelihood for all Tanzanians by increasing training capacity and improving the quality of technical education and training. This is a response to the high demand for qualified technical personnel. 

The statements identify the broad-based technical educational purposes of the college as “evolving high level human resource”. The statements read as follows.

Vision Statement

The vision of ATC is to become a centre of excellence that provides a national and international high-level human resource through exemplary competence based technical education and training.

Mission Statement

The mission of ATC is to provide high quality career-focused, skills-based technical education and training to enhance the role of individuals as productive and responsible members of the society.

Philosophy

The education philosophy of ATC is to meet the intellectual, physical, psychological and social needs of students. The educational experience gained prepares them for serving our Nation for sustainable development.

ATC Core Values

Provision of competence based education and training, service to community, integrity, diversity, equal opportunities, accountability and honesty, freedom and responsibility, mutual respect and unity of purpose, excellence in performance.

Kikuletwa Renewable Energy Training Centre

Kikuletwa Hydropower Station lies on the western end of the Sanya Plains, about 20 km south-west of Moshi. Currently Kikuletwa is accessed through a road 20 km earth road from Bomang’ombe town about 20 km from Moshi town, on the Moshi-Arusha highway and about 70 km from Arusha city. Kilimanjaro International Airport lies only 12 Kilometres further west from Kikuletwa. 

Administratively, Kikuletwa is located in Chemka Village, Masama-Rundugai Ward in Hai District in Kilimanjaro Region.

Constructed in the 1930's, the Kikuletwa Hydro power plant was one of the first hydroelectric power plants in then Tanganyika which was located in Arumeru District at a section where the Kware River from Mount Kilimanjaro meets the Kikuletwa River from Mount Meru, Mount Kilimanjaro is in Kilimanjaro region while Mount Meru is on Arusha region.

Kikuletwa Power Station provided electricity to Arusha and Moshi municipalities for many years and later supplied electricity into the national grid but ceased operation in 1984, due to increased operation and maintenance costs caused by the old age of its machines and unavailability of spare parts. 

In year 2014, Arusha Technical College (ATC) requested the government to transfer the ownership of the power plant to the college, so that it can include it into the international training centre, as well as supplying power to the national grid. ATC is thus rehabilitating and developing the power station to start serving as an international Hydro-electricity Training Center and supply the national grid. Previous feasibility studies have indicated that the Kikuletwa plant may potentially provide up to 17 MW of electricity by considering cascade potential. 

ATC will also use Kikuletwa as a training centre for hydropower technicians and artisans and as a test centre for its own micro-turbine generator with assistance from the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE) and the International Centre for Hydropower (ICH).

Project Purpose

A.) Establishment of Hydro Power Training Centre

The focus of the project is on rehabilitation of the existing facilities at Kikuletwa and to use them as a vocational training centre for hydropower and other renewable energy technologies for technicians. The old electro-mechanical machines shall be refurbished and other installations maintained, so as to be used as a training platform for students. The aim is to have at least one machine to be in a running condition, although the challenge is on availability of spare parts, since the company Electric Construction Company Limited of England which was manufacturing this machines is no longer existing/dealing with this type of machines and parts are not in the market, efforts are ongoing to search anywhere in the world where this machines are still available for scavenging purposes, it is our hope this can be possible by looking supply history of the Company and establish where these machines can be traced, otherwise other modification possibilities will be thought. 

In summary the purposes of the training centre is:

i) Long-term (specialized & advanced) training programmes for artisan and technician levels

ii) Short-term (specialized & advanced) training programmes generally renewable energy personnel on technologies like hydropower, solar, wind, fuel cells and biomass energy resources.

iii) Extended services to support hydropower development and improve competencies in Tanzania and the region

iv) Contribute towards the increased supply of highly qualified personnel needed to spur a knowledge and technology driven economy (research)

B.) Establishment of Turbine Testing Station

Arusha Technical College is involved in design and development of small hydro turbines, especially Cross flow and Pelton, apart from ATC there are other individual developers throughout the country. Means to test capacity and working parameters of the developed machines is missing and things are being done by trial and error, therefore the centre is being constructed for the purpose of using for turbine testing, certification, and standardisation. The testing station also can be used to test imported turbines so as to check on the integrity of properties and capabilities as claimed by manufacturer or suppliers. 

C.) Electricity Generation

Discussions are underway to partner with private companies and financiers to construct a new power starting with a 1.7 Megawatt power plant, which will be connected to the national grid to add up to the current Hydropower resource contribution.

Conclusion

It is ATC aim to make Kikuletwa an exemplary international centre for training in renewable energy technologies, as explained through long and professional short courses, therefore I take this opprtunity to invite you all to look into areas of collaborations and together we can come forward with the proposal into developing Kikuletwa training centre.

Actually, Arusha Technical Colleges is becoming one among very few training institutons in Africa, if not in the world to run power generation facility for income and training. You are welcome to join your hands with us to develop the Kikuletwa training centre or at least visit us.

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