Technical problems at Cahora Bassa lead to drop in electricity exports from Mozambique

12 August 2011

Maputo, Mozambique, 12 Aug – Technical problems at the Cahora Bassa Hydroelectric facility in the first half of the year affected production and export of electricity, particularly to South Africa, the main consumer of Mozambican electricity, according to a report in Mozambican newspaper Notícias.

Citing a source from the Energy Ministry, the newspaper reported that these constraints had led to a year-on-year drop of 7 percent in electricity exports in the period and Zimbabwe, for example, had received 18 percent less.

Despite this, electricity for the Mozambican market continued to rise, making it possible to meet demand from the manufacturing sector at a time when there is a boom in investments that require large amount of electricity to operate, as well as for domestic use.

Increased demand for electricity on the domestic market was influenced by the expansion of the grid supplying rural areas and intensification in urban and suburban areas, the Energy Ministry source told the newspaper.

Meanwhile, in the first half seven district capitals were linked up to the national grid, increasing the total to 105 so far, and which is expected to increase to 109 by the end of the year.

The newspaper also said that power company Electricidade de Moçambique (EdM) would refurbish the Chicamba and Mavuzi power plants and convert the Maputo thermal power plant from diesel to natural gas, as well as building new hydroelectric facilities, such as Mphanda Nkuwa.

Other projects in which EdM is involved are the coal-fired power plants in Moatize and development of the hydroelectric facilities at Cahora Bassa Norte, Lúrio and Alto-Malema, amongst others. (macauhub)