Johannesburg – British firm GL Africa Energy will build a $400-million gas power plant in Mozambique, even as unrest has disrupted work on key gas fields in another part of the country.
The company signed the deal last week to build and operate the 250-megawatt plant in the northeastern province of Nampula, 700km (around 430 miles) south of the region wreaked by an Islamist insurgency.
The plan was presented Wednesday at an African energy conference in Cape Town.
“The plant will be operational in the second quarter of 2023, and will provide electricity to more than 500 000 people,” Mamadou Goumble of parent company Janus Continental Group told AFP.
The electric supply will benefit the region’s fishing industry, he said.
“It’s a key economic activity in the region, but currently the fishermen don’t have electricity for cold storage for the fruits of their labour,” he said.
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The plant will rely on natural gas from the Rovuma Basin, one of the biggest reserves in Africa, which companies like TotalEnergies, ExxonMobil and ENI are seeking to exploit.
Work on the gas fields has been put on hold by Islamist unrest.
France’s Total has suspended work on its $20 billion investment in Mozambique, following a deadly attack in March on the coastal town of Palma.
More than 3 100 African, European and US soldiers have been deployed to Cabo Delgado province to quell the unrest. At least 3 340 people have been killed and more than 800 000 other displaced there since 2017.
“The plant will initially operate with imported LNG, to not depend on reserves in the North,” Goumble said.
GL Africa Energy has invested in other energy projects in southern Africa and in Africa’s Great Lakes region.
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