Mozambique: Power Cuts Cripple Beira

Maputo — Power cuts in the port city of Beira, and in other towns and cities in the central Mozambican provinces of Sofala and Manica, by the first week in February had reached critical level, causing enormous losses to companies.

The problem lies in a major breakdown in the Chibata sub-station, in Manica, on 29 January. The public electricity company, EDM, has been struggling to repair the damage, but the situation is not expected to return to normal until mid- February.

The Chibata sub-station is a key link in supplying electricity from the Cahora Bassa dam to the centre of the country. EDM has imported some power from Zimbabwe, but this is insufficient to cover the needs.

EDM has therefore halted the rehabilitation of its own power station at Chicamba, on the Revue river, and has put it back into service. Both Chicamba and a second station on the Revue, at Mavuzi, had been taken off-grid in January, as major upgrading began.

According to EDM chairperson Augusto de Sousa Fernando, cited in Wednesday's issue of the independent newsheet “Mediafax”, the power available from the Zimbabwean imports and from Chicamba only meets 30 per cent of the needs.

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