MAPUTO– Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi on Wednesday inaugurated a gas-fired combined cycle power station in the capital, Maputo, with the capacity to generate 106 megawatts (MW) of electricity.

This type of power station is highly efficient because it uses both a gas and a steam turbine together to produce up to 50 per cent more electricity from the same amount fuel than a traditional simple-cycle plant. The waste heat from the gas turbine is channelled to the nearby steam turbine, which generates extra power.

The new power station possesses two gas turbines which each generate 40 MW and a steam turbine producing 26 MW. It will provide electricity for southern Mozambique, particularly Maputo city and province, meeting about 25 per cent of the demand.

The station cost 180 million US dollars with the Japanese International Co-operation Agency (JICA) donating 167 million USD, and the remaining 13 million USD coming from the Mozambican government. The gas used by the turbines comes from the Pande and Temane onshore fields in southern Inhambane province.

Speaking at the inauguration, Nyusi said it is urgent to find ways of bridging the electricity deficit in Mozambique and in the southern African region.

We must solve the electricity shortage for our own economy, which is now undergoing a sharp recovery, and for the region, where there is a greater demand,” stressed the President, who noted that around 70 per cent of the Mozambican population still does not have access to electricity from the national grid.

Nyusi said that over the past three years, the government had mobilized more than 1.1 billion USD for electricity generation and distribution projects. Some of the projects already completed are the high voltage power lines from Lindela to Massinga, in the south, and from Chibata to Dondo in the central province of Sofala; sub-stations in Dondo, Quelimane, and Namialo in the centre and north of the country; and the electrification of Derre district, in Zambezia, soon to be followed by two other Zambezia districts, Mulevala and Luabo.

We have no doubt that our capacity to grow sustainably is closely linked to the level of access to electricity,” stressed Nyusi, who pointed out that there are abundant sources of energy in Mozambique, both conventional and renewable.

Many countries is the region have an energy deficit. To become competitive we must maximise urgently the (energy) advantages we have, and prepare adequately to meet the needs and opportunities of the energy market, he added.