2 May 2012 – The US$230 million 100 MW gas fired power plant that Gigawatt Mozambique plans to build in Ressano Garcia which borders South Africa could be in place at the end of the 2013, the chairman of the company, Castigo Langa, said at the end of April 2012. When the project signed a concession contract with the Mozambique government for the construction and management of the project in December 2010, the company had talked about having it completed in 2012.

This power is to be supplied to Mozambique’s national power grid, which is managed by state electricity company Electricidade de Mozambique (EdM). Langa said, in addition to having confirmed the sale of power to EdM, Gigawatt Mozambique wants to attract customers from the industrial sector that can pay the higher tariffs required to ensure the long term sustainability of the project, which would then be expanded.

The plant will be supplied with natural gas extracted at the Pande and Temane gas fields which has been seeing about 97% of this gas exported by petrochemical group Sasol to South Africa. In addition, US group Anadarko Petroleum and Italy’s ENI recently announced that natural gas reserves discovered so far in the Rovuma basin of northern Mozambique total 70 trillion cubic feet.

Gigawatt Mozambique is 40% owned by South African company Gigajoule, which is also the foreign shareholder of the Matola Gas Company (MGC) that distributes natural gas to companies in Matola and the district of Boane in Maputo province, including the Mozal aluminium smelter. The remaining shares in Gigawatt Mozambique belong to private local investors.

Power generation using Mozambique’s natural gas was first proposed by Gigawatt Mozambique in 2004, when it started construction of the gas pipeline from Ressano Garcia to Matola. The gas pipeline and a distribution network were established in 2005 and some 30 industries in Matola have converted from using diesel or gasoline to natural gas.