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Power across borders in Southern Africa

Client: Electricidade de Mozambique, Eskom and NamPower

Location: Ressano Garcia, Mozambique

Sectors: Utilities

The Challenge

Fast-track power for three countries

In regions where development is happening fast, there sometimes isn’t enough power to keep up. This was the case in Mozambique. The country has enough natural gas to power not only itself, but export to its neighbours, and urgently needed a new electricity plant to boost supply. The idea was to harness one of Mozambique’s existing natural gas pipelines and build a fast-track interim electricity plant. This would then inject power into the local South African Power Pool (SAPP), which connects the grid of nine Southern African countries.

Project fact file

From design to commission 20 weeks
Including a 500 MVA substation 110 MW power station
Length of gas pipeline 1.2 km
Of 275 HV transmission lines 2 km

The Solution

Design to commission in 20 weeks

Working alongside our local partner, Shanduka, we pinpointed the ideal place to start – an unused gas concession, with an existing off-take point in the main pipeline in Ressano Garcia. We’d take gas from here, and build and run an interim gas-fuelled power plant feeding directly into the SAPP network. Electricidade de Mozambique (EDM) and South Africa’s Eskom were both interested in buying the extra power, and with natural gas from the Matola Gas Company SA, and a sub-concession agreement with Gigawatt Mozambique SA, we began to work together on this hugely ambitious project.

In just 20 weeks, we built a fully functioning 100 MW power plant, with EDM taking 18 MW and Eskom 92 MW. Once the plant was running, Namibian state utility provider NamPower bought into the project, and we increased the plant capacity by another 122 MW to 232 MW in total.

“This innovative approach to securing an effective power supply for the people of Namibia is a great example of the spirit of Southern African cooperation.”

Managing Director , NamPower

Paulinus Shilamba

The Impact

Supporting socio-economic development locally and regionally

The result was the first project of its kind – a fast-track interim power plant supplying energy across borders. But that was just one part of the project’s success. At Aggreko we believe it’s our responsibility to make sure we support local communities wherever we work, and this project was no exception. From hiring and training a local workforce, choosing nearby suppliers wherever possible and funding a district school, the project included a comprehensive Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Supplier Development and Localisation (SDL) plan. In the next few years, the project will have brought more than USD $1 million into local jobs, schools and businesses. So while the electricity powers regional development, our plant will support Ressano Garcia community now and for years to come.