Mozambique is definitely positioning itself as the next Electricity Super Supplier of Africa within the coming decade.
The electricity system of Mozambique which has about 680 MW installed capacity on average supplying to the system, has expanded on the margins of chief regional projects. These projects include Sasol-run Pande/Temane gas processing and pipeline project (2004), Mozal aluminum smelter near Maputo (2000) and Cahora Bassa hydro power plant (1977).
In spite of Electricidade de Mocambique (EDM) carrying out the most important electrification in the current years, by and large in urban areas, the system still requires considerable refurbishment. To help Mozambique develop and meet the economic potential that its mineral resources hold, expansion of the energy transmission plants is paramount as well.
One of the biggest problems is that the transmission system fails to provide energy to all the areas in Mozambique. For example electricity to the Maputo region is supplied from South Africa from the Hidroelectrica de Cahora Bassa (HCB). In the large divisions of the country where power is available, it lacks buoyancy.
Additionally, despite the fact that the power distribution network has made it to all the administrative centers, the energy transmission system has huge gaps with no power grid and this contributes to the difficulty in gaining access to electricity.
Presently, the energy sector in Mozambique faces three major challenges:
- To supply efficient and reliable electricity to the customers
- To be able to increase the demand for electricity from the current (plus future) client base by increasing its transmission and generation capacity
- To offer access to electricity to the majority of its population.
Efficient and Reliable Electricity Supply
The physical state of the transmission system is extremely poor, with recurrent breakdowns along with the increasing rates of energy losses. There were more than sixty hours of transmission disruptions in 2016, with the standard interruption time escalating from thirty minutes in 2014 to seventy minutes in 2016. This is also partially because EDM does not have a technical team to deal with the regular maintenance and operation of the grid.
Transmission and Generation Capacity
Mozambique is endowed with massive natural resources used for power generation. These include various huge renewable energy projects for instance the Mphanda Nkuwa hydropower project along with the North Bank extension to Cahora Bassa which would offer affordable energy supply. The energy transmission system should be extensively renovated and expanded to improve its coverage and resilience thus exporting more power.
Access to Electricity
The Mozambique government in its latest five years plan has plainly highlighted the need to encourage industrial and agricultural growth as the foundation for the socio-economic advancement of Mozambique. The most essential factor in achieving this goal, as documented in the governmental plan, remains the development of sound infrastructures facilities in the energy sector. Once these projects will be implemented, Mozambique will definitely position itself as the next coming Electricity Super Supplier of Africa.