Mining & Energy
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Mozambique’s publicly owned electricity company, EDM, says it has 300 million US dollars available to finance, over the next ten years, various interventions forming part of the first stage in its programme to ensure universal access to electricity.
The “Energy for All” programme seeks to ensure that by 2030 all Mozambicans have access to electricity in their homes. This involves electrification so that by 2030 60 per cent of the population are connected to the national grid operated by EDM.
The other 40 per cent, generally in more remote parts of the country, will draw electricity from sources such as solar panels and mini-grids covering limited areas.
At a Maputo press conference on Monday, EDM’s director of Social Energy, Joaquim Oh-Chim, said the programme will occur simultaneously across the entire country, but has been divided into consignments for purposes of acquiring material.
After President Filipe Nyusi launched the programme in 2018, said Oh-Chim, “a series of activities was launched, including mobilisation of resources to advance with the programme”. The first activities are planned to take off at national level in the first quarter of 2020.
When the programme for universal access was launched, electrification projects were already under implementation and new clients were being connected, but with the new resources further tenders are now under preparation for the acquisition of material.
It had also been necessary to draw up new material specifications in order to reduce the costs of electrification, given the ambitious scope of the programme. The new standards for material such as pylons, transformers, cables and meters, Oh-Chim said, should lead to an overall cost reduction of between 30 and 40 per cent.
“Right now, we are finishing the contracts for the supply of material on a large scale”, he continued. “This will be followed by the hiring of contractors. The tender for selecting contractors has been launched”.
The present phase. Oh-Chim said, is just the first step in ensuring universal access, and it is being financed by the World Bank, Norway, Sweden and other partners.
The total funding required for the programme up to 2030 is estimated at 6.5 billion dollars. With the first 300 million guaranteed, EDM is now looking at projects for the second phase. When the design of these projects is complete, a document will be drawn up for submission to potential financing agencies.
Expanding the electricity grid brings with it the challenge of ensuring the quality of the power supplied. Oh-Chim said EDM is aware that the massive connection of new clients could overload the grid, and so EDM is also undertaking projects throughout the country to strengthen the grid.
This included boosting power generation. Oh-Chim said that EDM has already rehabilitated the Mavuzi and Chicamba dams in Manica province, thus increasing the availability and reliability of power in the central region, and new power stations are planned.
When EDM was set up after Mozambican independence, in 1975, only 15 districts obtained power from the national electricity grid. But by November 2018, all 152 district capitals had been electrified.
Currently an estimated 32 per cent of the population have electricity in their homes, and by the end of 2020 the figure should reach 35 per cent.
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