Mining & Energy
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Mozambique’s first solar power plant has secured financing and is expected to start construction in May and be operational “in early 2019”, a government source has told Lusa.
“It will be the country’s first large-scale solar plant and represents an important step in the ambition to increase the share of renewable sources in electricity generation,” the developer has announced.
The large solar panel array will be built on a 126-hectare site in Mocuba, central Zambezia province, as the result of a partnership between Scatec Solar, with a 52.5 percent stake, the Norwegian state fund Norfund (22.5%) and Electricity of Mozambique (EDM) (25%).
EDM will buy the energy produced, ultimately enough for 175,000 households, and distribute it through the national electricity grid.
According to an EDM report, “the power station will help bridge the lack of response of the electricity grid in the northern half of the country and, at the same time, promote the development of the Mocuba region”.
The project is planned to have a 25-year life expectancy and will cover 85 percent of the annual energy needs of the region’s 216,000 inhabitants – but where only 8 percent of the households have electricity.
The expectation is that the project will help increase this ratio over time to 25 percent.
During the construction phase, the project will employ 200 people and “boost local businesses in the areas of accommodation, catering, rental and sale of essential goods”, the report said.
As soon as the facility goes into operation, 0.75 percent of its annual revenues will be invested in social projects in the region.
The document points to the enterprise as “the cheapest option to produce electricity and at the same time guarantee a way to easily supply the rural world and diversify the energy sources in Mozambique”.
In September 2017, the government presented the portfolio of renewable energy projects with which it intends to guarantee universal access to electricity in the country by 2030.
According to the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy, the government plans to electrify about 300 villages’ water resources with an equal number of solar projects, Lusa reports.Source: Lusa
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