Mozambique Renewables: Funding guaranteed for Mocuba solar plant

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Funding is guaranteed for the construction of a photovoltaic power station capable of generating 40.5 megawatts of power in Mocuba district, in the central Mozambican province of Zambezia, according to a report in Monday’s issue of the independent daily “O Pais”.

The total investment required is 76 million US dollars of which 55 million will come from a package put together by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and the rest from Mozambique’s own electricity company, EDM.

The IFC is a member of the World Bank group, focused on the private sector in developing countries.

The projected Mocuba solar power station is a public private partnership between the Norwegian energy producer Scatec Solar, and EDM. The funding was announced during the African Energy Forum held last week in the Danish capital, Copenhagen. This annual gathering brings together representatives of governments, financial agencies, energy companies, regulators, and major power consumers from Africa and from the industrialized countries.

Speaking on the occasion, the chairperson of Scatec Solar, Raymond Carlsen, said the company “is committed to making use of Mozambique’s solar potential, and in guaranteeing the stability of the network. This is particularly important for a country which depends on a power transmission system with very long power lines that are vulnerable to interruptions. It is our intention to lever and support projects of this kind that guarantee greater resilience for the country’s energy sector”.

The EDM chairperson, Mateus Magala, said “signing the Mocuba financing agreement is a great conquest for EDM and for the energy sector in Mozambique”.

The solar power station will be operated by the company CESOM (Central Solar de Mocuba), owned by Scatec Solar, EDM and the Norwegian Investment Fund, Norfund. CESOM has signed a 25 year agreement to sell the power to EDM.

The Mocuba power station will be the largest solar power plant in sub-Saharan Africa outside of South Africa, and it is expected to supply power to 175,000 households. Output is estimated at 80,000 megawatt hours per year. This is 4.8 per cent of the country’s currently available electricity capacity, but 40 per cent of the electricity grid north of the Zambezi. CESOM is expected to complete the power plant in 2018. (Source: AIM)

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