Mozambique officially opened a new $200 million, 120-megawatt gas-fired power station in the border town of Ressano Garcia recently. That will replace about 100 megawatts of power currently being supplied to Mozambique by Eskom’s Arnot power station near Witbank, South Africa. The plant has an installed capacity of 120 mw, comprising 13 generators of 9.3 mw driven by Rolls-Royce brand engines powered by natural gas and would provide greater security of energy supply and reduce dependence on external sources, its report said.
A shortage of power is constraining economic development in Southern African countries, which for decades have relied on buying power from Eskom to supplement their own small-scale generation. Eskom’s capacity constraints are also affecting its neighbors. The discovery of gas offshore Tanzania and Northern Mozambique has increased interest in using gas for power in the region.
Gigawatt Mozambique is owned by various Mozambican shareholders and Centurion-based Gigajoule, whose shareholders include WBHO, Old Mutual and management. They contributed the equity for the new power station, and the debt facility was provided by Standard Bank. Gigajoule also has 49.6% of the Matola Gas Company, which sells gas through a pipeline to customers in Maputo.
Mozambique has a total installed generating capacity of about 2,500mw of power and boasts of huge gas reserves. It is developing liquefied natural gas export projects expected to bring tens of billions of dollars in returns to the country.