Mozambique: Construction of Cuamba Solar Power Station Begins

The Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Max Tonela, on 10 June reiterated the government's determination to diversify the country's energy matrix through further investment in clean and renewable sources of power. He was speaking in the town of Cuamba, in the northern province of Niassa, at the ceremony to lay the first stone in the construction of a solar power station in the locality of Tetereane, intended to meet the growing demand for power.

The solar power station, budgeted at US$32 million, will cover 47 hectares, with a complex of 35,000 photovoltaic panels. Initially it is expected to produce about 41,000 megawatt-hours of electricity a year.

The project also envisages a transmission line running for 450 metres between the solar power station and the Cuamba substation, on the national grid. Work will be done to strengthen the substation and install a 16 MVA transformer.

After the conclusion of the project, scheduled for June 2022, an improvement is expected in the quality of power supplied, not only to consumers in Niassa, but also to the northern districts of the neighbouring province of Nampula. The project will create 100 jobs (90 of them for Mozambicans) during the construction phase, but only ten in the operational phase.

The project management has pledged to allocate one per cent of the revenue from the project (expected to be two million meticais - about US$32,200 - a year) for community development in Cuamba municipality and district, including building schools and drilling boreholes for water supply.

Tonela said that the Tetereane station will be the third solar powered station in the country. The first was set up in Mocuba, in Zambezia province, and has been in operation since 2019. The second, at Metoro, in Cabo Delgado, is still under construction, and should be concluded later this year. "We are paying particular attention to renewable sources", sad Tonela, "since they allow us to put power stations at various points scattered across the country, helping us to create alternatives that improve security and quality of supply, and also make our climate agenda viable".

Among the partners in the Cuamba station are the publicly-owned electricity company, EDM, the London-based independent power producer Globelec, and Source Energia, which specialises in the development of electricity projects in Portuguese speaking African countries.

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