A Turkish-built floating power plant docked in Nacala port yesterday, 18 February, where it will spend the next two years generating 100 MW for the Zambian market as well as fortifying the electricity grid in northern Mozambique.
The ship, which belongs to Turkish power company Karadeniz, will burn heavy fuel oil and has a nameplate capacity 110 MW. It has been contracted by Mozambican utility EDM, which will sell the power on to neighbouring Zambia.
However, in practice, the electricity sold to Zambia will be generated by the Cahora Bassa hydroelectric plant in Tete province, closer to the Zambian border, while the ‘powership’ output will supply Mozambique’s northern grid, in particular the cities of Nacala and Nampula.to the media.
The new set-up means northern Mozambique is no longer at risk of losing its energy supply if transmission lines from Cahora Bassa fail – as they did in January 2015 when flooding knocked out the transmission line over the River Licungo at Mocuba.
Moreover, EDM will save electricity that would usually be lost along the long transmission route between Tete and Nacala.
The powership arrived in Nacala on Thursday afternoon, and should be connected to the grid in around 10 days’ time, a source working on the project reviewed .
The ship’s arrival is a further boost for EDM after this week’s signing of a deal for two Japanese companies to build a 100 MW gas-fired power plant in Maputo. EDM chairman said 335 MW of new generation projects are in the pipeline – with an emphasis on providing reliable power for Nacala and Beira.