South Africa secures more power from 2,040-MW Cahora Bassa

South Africa utility Eskom said April 9 it reached a five-year deal with Mozambique to import an extra 250 MW from Mozambique’s 2,040-MW Cahora Bassa hydroelectric project on the Zambezi River.

“In terms of the agreement, Cahora Bassa will make 250 MW available to Eskom from its fifth generator, bringing the total amount Eskom can import from Cahora Bassa to 1,500 MW,” Eskom said.

The utility said 100 MW of the additional power had been supplied since April 4, with a further increase expected in the coming weeks.

Mozambique utility Electricidade de Mocambique (EDM) said in March that rehabilitation of Cahora Bassa units would enable Mozambique to supply additional electricity to its power-short neighbors. (HNN 3/26/08) EDM is to receive 50 MW of the additional capacity from Cahora Bassa’s fifth unit.

The government-owned Eskom has been struggling to cope with a power crisis that shut down South Africa’s mining industry for five days in January due to unreliable electricity supplies. Mines are now operating at 95 percent of their usual power supply.

Eskom plans to spend 343 billion rand (US$44 billion) in the next five years and 1.3 trillion rand (US$167 billion) until 2025 to increase generating capacity.

As part of its expansion program, Eskom is developing two pumped-storage projects, 1,332-MW Ingula and 1,500-MW Project Lima. (HNN 4/4/08) South Africa also is helping the Democratic Republic of Congo refurbish its 350-MW Inga 1 and 1,424-MW Inga 2 hydroelectric projects and to develop a new 4,300-MW Inga 3 project, all on the Congo River. (HNN 4/7/08)

Cahora Bassa’s operator, Hidroelectrica Cahora Bassa, plans to expand its hydropower in three phases: full renovation of the Cahora Bassa project to bring capacity up to 2,120 MW; building the 800- to 1,200-MW Cahora Bassa North project; and constructing the 1,500-MW Mphanda Nkuwa hydro project on the Zambezi. (HNN 4/2/08)

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