Maputo — The breakdown in the gas compression system of the Matola Gas Company (MGC), which made it impossible to refuel vehicles which run on natural gas, including 150 buses of the Maputo municipal bus company (TPM) was fully repaired on Monday.
The MGC Chief Executive Officer, Bruno Morgado, cited by the independent television station STV, said that the repairs cost about two million meticais (around 65,400 US dollars). This covered the cost of importing a new compressor and flying it, and a technical installation team, from Canada to Maputo.
Morgado said that such expenditure is envisaged in the company's contingency plan, which contains provisions for emergency expenditure to ensure that here will be no prolonged interruptions in the supply of compressed gas.
The gas comes from the treatment plant at Temane, in Inhambane province, run by the South African petro-chemical giant, Sasol. It is transported by pipeline to Sasol's factories in the South African city of Secunda, but at Ressano Garcia, on the border, a spur of the pipeline, operated by MGC, takes gas to Matola. Here MGC compresses the gas, which is then supplied to the distribution company, Autogas.
The breakdown in the compression system on Saturday made it impossible to load compressed gas onto the trucks which take it to the Autogas posts where it is sold to the public.
The 150 gas fuelled buses could not be refueled, dramatically worsening public transport in Maputo on Monday. Each bus carries an average of 79 people - so when all 150 are on the roads, they are carrying 11,850 people.
However, the speed of the MGC reponse meant that by Monday night vehicles were queuing up to be resupplied, and by Tuesday the situation was back to normal.