Tanzania has made an initial payment of almost $310 million to a joint venture of Egyptian companies, Arab Contractors and El Sewedy Electric Co, to build the 2115MW Rufiji hydroelectric project at Stiegler’s gorge.

The payment is part of an advance payment equivalent to 15% of the total project cost, Tanzania’s Finance and Planning Ministry said.

Expected to be complete in three years, the project includes construction of a 134m high dam and appurtenant structures.

According to the Tanzanian government, the project is expected to cost around $3 billion to build, but an independent study by Joerg Hartmann released earlier this year said that the dam may end up costing over three times initial estimates.