Maputo — Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi laid on Thursday the foundation stone for the construction of an electricity substation and a 366 kilometre high voltage power line, running across the central province of Zambezia from Chimuara to Alto Molocue.
The project, budgeted at 150 million US dollars, sponsored by the Islamic Development Bank (ISDB), will be concluded by 2022 and the construction phase will create 1,200 jobs.
Addressing the ceremony, Nyusi said electrification is among government’s foremost priorities, hence Mozambique has witnessed the launch of groundbreaking work for the line that is the “backbone” of the power grid that will transport 400 kilovolts of power.
“The project will increase reliability in access to electricity in Quelimane, Chimuara, Mopeia, Morrumbala, Nicoadala, Mocuba, Alto Molocue and other localities across the province,” Nyusi said.
Southwards, in the neighbouring province of Sofala, the electricity project will improve the reliability of the power supply in the districts of Caia and Marromeu, and other places in the north of the province.
Nyusi added that the project will, in the mid-term, establish the interconnection between the Mozambican power grid and Tanzania, and by the second half of the current year construction work to interconnect the Mozambican and Malawian grids will begin.
Nyusi reaffirmed the government’s commitment to electrify all the administrative posts across the country, in the framework of the programme “Energy for All”. “As we take electricity to each and every household, we are meeting the goal posed by Agenda 2030 which challenges governments to provide electricity to all, over the next 10 years”, he said.
In order to ensure the fulfillment of the goal, the government has decided to abolish the electricity fee for new connections for domestic consumers. Since that decision was taken last year, the publicly owned electricity company, EDM, has established over 37,000 new connections, covering about 185,000 Mozambicans in just three months.
“This growth is clear evidence of the outcome brought about by elimination of the electricity connection fee,” the president stressed.
Nyusi has called on EDM and other parties involved in the project to see the challenges as opportunities for reducing losses; finding alternative solutions for finance through public-private partnerships; and re-negotiating the terms of sales contracts with special clients to avoid income losses.