Mozambique’s EDM power utility loses over US$ 6 million due to theft

2 July 2007

Maputo, Mozambique, 2 July, Theft of cables and other equipment has cost Mozambican state power company EDM more than US$ 6.5 million since 2001, the company’s CEO has said.

Cited by the Noticias newspaper, Manuel Cuambe said US$ 650,000 worth of material has been stolen in the first half of 2007, with most of these loses caused by theft of oil from power transformers.

Each of EDM’s transformers costs the equivalent of around US$ 16,000, noted Cuambe, and this equipment has to be imported, “which takes time,” meaning power cuts in some areas are likely for long periods.

Most of the material stolen from EDM is made of copper or aluminum and used to make cooking equipment or sold to scarp merchants, he explained.

EDM’s CEO said he believed organized crime was behind much of the robbery of materials, noting recent seizures of Swaziland-bound trucks carrying stolen electrical equipment.

Cuambe also said its was likely than many scrap merchants were involved in receiving of stolen material, calling for those found guilty of such crimes to be punished as an deterrent to others. (macauhub)