Recent data suggests that Mozambique has the second highest rate of new connections per annum at Southern African Development Community (SADC) level. What investments were made by EDM to enable the achievement of such results?

Mozambique is one of the lowest electrified countries in the SADC. After the peace accord in 1992, it was important to rebuild the electrical infrastructures in the country to enable a sustainable economic reconstruction and the social development programme. In the electricity sector, an intensive programme of rehabilitation of the electrical infrastructure destroyed during the war period was implemented with the support of the international community.

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It was when the rehabilitation of the electrical infrastructure programme was under way that EDM conducted its Electrification Master Plan Study to set up the guidelines, references and targets for the electrification programme, which at that stage was at the level of 5%.

Today the electrification ratio has hit the 10% mark and is growing by two units a year, due to the intensive programme of new connections and the extension of the distribution networks after the connection of all major cities in the national grid. Currently EDM is connecting more that 90,000 families into the distribution grid each year, and the number is growing.

In order to achieve these figures a lot of concessional funds were required, and EDM is currently investing about $50m to $60m a year in the electrification programme. This investment, combined with the access to concessional funds, will continue over the news few years in order to speed up the electrification process.

Last year various agreements were signed with the EU to finance rural electrification projects. What benefits does the option for the European financial market bring for EDM?

The various agreements signed with EU are part of the social development funds it provides to emerging development countries such as Mozambique. We are grateful to work with the European Community as this has helped in a way to develop some of the critical projects of EDM. There is no specific benefit to work with the European Community. What is important is that we all fulfil the objectives from its expectations as well as from our requirements to develop the energy sector.

What is the impact of the reversion and control of Cahora Bassa Hydro-electric Plant by the Mozambican State on EDM’s investment portfolio?

The reversion and control of HCB by the Mozambique government will have a major short, medium and long-term impact on the development of the electricity sector, namely:

• Additional energy for internal consumption.

• Preferential tariff.

• Infrastructure development (generation and transmission).

• Concession fees and a better fiscal regime for the government.

What is EDM´s involvement in major projects such as the Temane gas plant, Mpanda Nkuwa?

EDM has a strategy for all relevant aspects in regard to the development of small, medium and large-scale project. In regard to shareholding in the large-scale projects, EDM always envisages a minority shareholding.

What is important for EDM at this stage is to ensure it takes an appropriate position in order to pursue with its responsibility within the government programme for the energy sector. Another important goal is the development of important infrastructures both in energy generation and transmission, and of course to enhance the strategic position of Mozambique in the regional context.

We also strongly believe the Mozambique can make an important contribution to the present energy crisis, which the region is facing, to the benefit of the national and regional social economic development.

There are many other benefits which are no less important, such as job creation, human capacity building, transfer of know-how, social programmes and so on.

What projects are in the pipeline awaiting investment?

All large-scale and medium-scale projects will de developed based on project finance and are capital intensive. However, it can be a complex process to bring the projects to a financial close due do their size and the risks associated. On the other hand, one large-scale project, when implemented properly, can have a huge impact on the local and regional economies.

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