The Mozambican electricity context is characterized by high growth consumption, dependent on a few production sites. Peak electricity consumption in Mozambique is around 750 MW in 2013 (not counting the Mozal smelter). Consumption is growing rapidly (+ 11% / year) as a result of the proactive electrification policy but also of sustained economic growth driven by a few mega-projects to exploit the country's mining resources (coal, gas in particular).
The national electricity company EDM draws its supplies mainly from the company, Hidroelectrica Cahora Bassa (HBC), that operates the Cahora Bassa dam (500 MW). EDM itself produces a portion of the electricity (in the order of 100 MW), and the balance buys electricity from independent producers (Aggreko) and ESKOM at a high price. The latter share is increasing and weakens the financial health of EDM, which can not adjust its sales prices without ministerial agreement. The rehabilitation of the Mavuzi and Chicamba power plants will reduce this dependence on imports and obtain an electricity supply at the lowest cost.
The work consists of:
- The rehabilitation of the two Chicamba turbines (capacity after rehabilitation of 44 MW in total);
- The rehabilitation of the three main turbines of Mavuzi (42 MW in total after rehabilitation) as well as the two 5.5 MW turbines that will serve as a backup solution in the event of failure of one of the main turbines of the mechanical, electrical and wholesale works work for Mavuzi and Chicamba;
- The upgrade of control systems the renovation of penstocks.
The project will better respond to peak demand and continued growth in energy demand across the country. It will thus allow a better security of supply an increase of the production capacity.
In peak periods, it will save on the purchase of electricity in the Southern African power grid at a very high cost. In times of low demand, the project will allow EDM to increase its electricity exports to the Southern Africa Power Pool.
In case of unavailability of supply from Hidroelectrica Cahora Bassa (through the Cahora Bassa dam), it will secure the supply to the central region of the country.
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