MOZAMBIQUE WILL this year begin construction of a new gas-powered plant that is expected to add 100 megawatts to the regional power grid.
Gas production is set to become a major priority in Mozambique over the next few years following the discovery of large sums of natural gas in the country.
The amount of gas discovered in Mozambique is reported to be more than enough to meet an entire year’s gas consumption by the United States – one of the largest consumers of gas in the world.The US consumes about 30 trillion cubic feet per annum.
Mozambique’s gas-powered plant to be built in Maputo is due for completion in 2018. Once operational, it is expected to address the energy shortages in the country.
Mozambique requires about 700MW of electricity per year. However, due to other challenges, the country is producing close to 600MW for its local consumption as well as imports.
According to the Southern Africa Power Pool (SAPP), which coordinates the planning, generation, transmission and marketing of electricity on behalf of Member State utilities in the SADC region, Mozambique’s energy needs are on the increase and the country will require more than 750MW per year for its socio-economic development by 2018.
Funding for the gas-powered plant will jointly be provided by Mozambique and Japan.
The Japanese government is already pledged US$167 million for engineering services, as well as the acquisition of equipment, construction work and professional training.
The gas-powered plant will be a combined-cycle power plant. Combined plants are more efficient than conventional power stations using two heat engines in tandem to convert a higher fraction of the heat produced by the fuel into electricity.
Gas-powered power plants also produce less carbon dioxide, having a lower impact on gas emissions that cause climate change and damage to the environment.
The project comes at a time when gas is becoming the future of the region’s energy matrix, as the global community moves towards cleaner sources of energy.
Through SAPP, SADC aims to construct 16 gas-powered power stations by 2018 across the region with a combined capacity to add more than 4,000MW of electricity to the regional grid.
SOUTHERN AFRICA TODAY, March 2014 (Page 8,9) Full PDF click here