Mozambican Prime Minister, Aires Ali, on Friday laid the first stone for the construction of a new gas-fired power station in the district of Ressano Garcia, in the border with South Africa.

For the construction of the new plant the company “Gigawatt-Mozambique”, owner of the project, is investing about 230 million U.S. dollars to generate 100 megawatts of electricity as from 2013.

Gigawatt-Mozambique is 40 per cent owned by the South African company Gigajoule, which is also the foreign investor in the Matola Gas Company (MGC), which distributes natural gas to companies in the Matola and Boane region, including to Mozambique’s largest factory, the Mozal aluminium smelter.

The Mozambican private investors in MGC hold the other 60 per cent of Gigawatt. The largest of these is the company Intelec, with 26 per cent.

Speaking during the event, Aires Ali said that the power station should meet the demand of electricity in Mozambique in the near future, since consumption has been seen a significant growth over the last few years due to the increase in the number of consumers across the country.

“The completion of this project will allow to create additional capacity for power generation to meet the growing needs of the population, as well as attract new projects for this region of the country”, said the Prime Minister.

He added that this project means added value to the project of natural gas from Pande and Temane, as well as represents a substantial contribution in diversifying country’s energy matrix.

For his turn Energy Minister, Salvador Namburete, explained that the 100 megawatts to be generated at Ressano Garcia will add to the electricity already available in the country, and managed by the publicly owned company Electricidade de Mocambique (EDM).

The natural gas is a Mozambican resource – but currently 97 per cent of the gas exctracted from the Pande and Temane fields in the southern province of Inhambane is exported to South Africa. Under the agreement between the Mozambican government and the South African petro-chemical giant Sasol, part of the gas is paid to Mozambique as a royalty – but so far Mozambique has only been able to use 40 per cent of the royalty gas.

Meanwhile, there are a number of projects for power generation in the pipeline, including the Mpanda Nkuwa dam, on the Zambezi river, about 60 kilometers downstream from the existing Cahora Bassa dam, and a new coal-fired power plant to be built by the Brazilian giant Vale, both in the western province of Tete.



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