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Mozambique seeks $400m to electrify country

Mozambique is negotiating with foreign partners to obtain $400m in funding to electrify the entire country by 2015, a senior government official said.
Planning and Development Minister Aiuba Quereneia hopes to provide the 128 district capitals across Mozambique with national grid electricity by 2015. "We need $400m to achieve this goal, (and) we are talking to our partners such as such as DANIDA (Danish International Development Agency), the African Development Bank, the World Bank and others", he said.

Mozambique produces 2 075 megawatts of electricity, mainly at its Cahora Bassa Hydroelectric (HCB) plant in Tete province, which plans to increase output.

HCB, which suffered from decades of neglect and lack of investment, currently provides 60% of its power to South Africa's Eskom and 35% to Zimbabwe's power utility Zesa, while Mozambique consumes 5%.

Quereneia said financiers had agreed to release almost half of the $400m, which would be used to expand the electricity grid, which has been damaged by previous thefts of cables and angle irons, as well as by Mozambique's civil war.

The electrification programme is to be carried out by state-run power company EDM, using power from Cahora Bassa.

Quereneia added that other financiers of the electrification would include the Nordic countries and German development bank, Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KFW).

The government recently invited foreign investors to build hydropower projects in 100 locations with a total estimated hydroelectric potential of up to 14 000 megawatts. It said vast potential had been identified in the central provinces of Manica and Tete, and the northernmost Niassa province.

Additional information:
News date: 31/07/2008

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