Maputo, Mozambique, 26 Dec – Mozambique is spending between US$ 50 million and US$ 70 million yearly to bring electricity to rural areas, says Energy Minster Salvador Namburete.
In comments to the AIM news agency, the minister said the Maputo government plans to bring power to 11 rural districts during 2008. But the major challenge faced by Mozambique’s power generating sector is to provide sufficient energy for major industrial projects, he added.
“Our capacity to supply electricity will begin to decline from 2008 and there are mining and industrial projects, such as steelworks or an aluminum smelter, that need guarantees over electricity supply.”
Plans to expand the Mozal aluminum smelter, on the outskirts of Maputo, have not been implemented due to the lack of an additional 400 megawatts needed for the bigger plant.
Maputo’s energy minister said the government is doing all in its power to extend rural power supplies, but problems occur at times such as failure of contractors to meet deadlines and delays in funding from donors and the Mozambican states.
Currently, Mozambique’s national grid supplies only 63 of the country’s 128 district capitals. (macauhub)