Mozambique has for a long time exported significant energy from its hydropower plant at Cahora Bassa on the Zambezi River. There are several large hydropower projects downstream of Cahora Bassa that may be developed along with the expansion of the existing hydropower plant at Cahora Bassa. Furthermore, there are coal resources currently used for export of coal that may also be used for local, large scale generation. Feasibility studies for expansion of Cahora Bassa by developing the North Bank and also studies of downstream projects like Mphanda Nkuwa, Boroma and Luapula have demonstrated that Mozambique may be a major exporter of electricity also in the future. This is further supported by potential use of local coal resources in Tete and also possible generation from major gas resources both in the Vilanculos area and in the far north close to Pemba.
Norconsult was part of a team engaged by EdM to cover the Feasibility Study for the backbone grid solution connecting Mphanda Nkuwa and other new generation projects in the Tete area with the existing 400 kV system connecting Maputo and the southern system to South Africa. This backbone grid, named CESUL and later renamed STE, was required to provide an AC solution for connection of local intermediate substations, while a DC link was found to be economical for bulk transfer over a distance of 1200-1300 km. The feasibility study covered alternative generation and transmission expansion scenarios, economic and financial analyses, line routing and ESIA studies. Following the completion of the Feasibility Study, Norconsult was also engaged on optimisation studies, preparation of preliminary design and tender documents and procurement strategy, contract packaging, pre-qualification of contractors etc.
Per Morten Heggli