The Mozambican government on Tuesday approved the terms and conditions for a gas-fired power station in Beluluane, in Boane district, about 30 kilometres west of Maputo, that could generate 2,000 megawatts of electricity.

At the same time facilities will be built in the port of Matola for the handling, storage, re-gasification and export of liquefied natural gas (LNG). There will be a gas pipeline linking the port to the Beluluane power station.

Speaking to reporters after a meeting of the Council of Ministers (Cabinet), the government spokesperson, Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism, Ana Comoana, said these projects, to be carried out over a five year period, will involve an investment of 2.8 billion US dollars. In the construction phase they will generate 1,700 jobs, while in the operational phase there are expected to be 1,050 permanent jobs.

The government decrees give the Beluluane Gas Company (BGC) a concession of 30 years for financing, building and operating these projects. Comoana described this as foreign direct investment, but did not explain the origin of the funds.

Initial reports, in June, said there are both Mozambican and foreign investors involved in the BGC.

The amount of electricity envisaged is not far short of the amount generated by the Cahora Bassa dam on the Zambezi river, in the western province of Tete. The five giant turbines at Cahora Bassa can each generate 415 megawatts. Operating at full capacity, Cahora Bassa could generate 2,075 megawatts.

The customers for the power generated at Beluluane are expected to be South Africa and other markets in the SADC (Southern African Development Community) region. It could also supply power to the Mozal aluminium smelter, which is located in Beluluane.

Initially, the LNG used will be imported. That is because the natural gas produced from the Pande and Temane gas fields in Inhambane province is already committed, partly in exports to South Africa, and partly to a variety of projects within Mozambique.

But when the LNG from the massive offshore gas fields in the Rovuma Basin, off the coast of the northern province of Cabo Delgado, comes on stream, some of it will be shipped to Maputo, for use in Beluluane.

Comona said the Beluluane project would help meet the challenge “of turning Mozambique into a regional pole for the production and supply of electricity, implementing the integrated electricity master plan, which envisages the production of 8,000 megawatts by 2043”.

She added that power from Beluluane to the Mozambican domestic market will be sold at preferential prices, with discounts of between five and 20 per cent.


Source: All Africa