The newly discovered gas fields in Mozambique are proving to be an invaluable electrical power source for the southern African region as reflected in the extension of the Ressano Garcia gas-fired power plant which was inaugurated on Friday.
Undertaken by Aggreko in partnership with South Africa’s investment holding company Shanduka Group, the Ressano Garcia facility was expanded from its initial capacity of 110 MW to 232 MW.
The facility, an interim cross-border Independent Power Producer (IPP) project, was officially inaugurated by the Mozambique Minister of Energy, Salvador Namburete, during a ceremony held on Friday at the project site in Gigawatt Park.
The initial facility began operating in July 2012 to supply power directly into the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) with the first off-takers from the project being Electricidade de Moçambique (EDM), the Mozambique power utility and Eskom, the South African power utility. The extended facility will now supply power generated in Mozambique to three national utilities, including to Namibia located more than 1,500 kilometres away.
Aggreko said in a statement following the success of the first stage of Ressano Garcia, it announced in March 2013 that it had signed agreements with both EDM and NamPower, the Namibian power utility to supply an additional 122 MW from the project. Work began immediately to more than double the generating capacity of the plant. As Aggreko designed and built the plant infrastructure to allow for modular increases in capacity, adding the additional power generation was achieved in just 12 weeks.
Aggreko’s Ressano Garcia power plant is situated on the Mozambique / South African border, 90 kilometres north-west of Maputo at Gigawatt Park. Natural gas to the project is being supplied by the Matola Gas Company SA through their gas infrastructure at Ressano Garcia and Aggreko is generating power utilising a sub-concession agreement with Gigawatt Mozambique SA.
“Ressano Garcia is the world’s largest cross-border interim power plant, with 232 MW of gas-fuelled power generation being utilised by three national utilities,” said David Taylor-Smith, Regional Managing Director, Aggreko Europe Middle East and Africa. “This project highlights the precision and speed in which Aggreko can deliver large-scale temporary power capacity, to help our customers address gaps in energy supply as and when they arise.”
Paulinus Shilamba, Managing Director, NamPower said: “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. This unique project will contribute to the provision of a reliable power supply across Namibia and support the continued development of the country.”
Augusto de Sousa Fernando, CEO of EDM added: “Following the first project enabled by EDM, in its role as the national power utility and system operator in Mozambique, we would once again like to welcome the second phase of the Aggreko interim power plant at Ressano Garcia, which will assist EDM and its partners in the SAPP to bridge the period until we implement our permanent plants in Mozambique.”