Tapping the potential of water
“Dealing with the phenomena of droughts and floods is of prime importance to reducing risks to economies”
Carlos Agostinho do Rosario, Prime Minister of Mozambique, COP21 Paris.
In a speech to UN delegates, the Prime Minister of Mozambique re-emphasised the critical importance of both adapting to climate change and improving access to power when developing a sustainable economy. Mozambique is among the world’s poorest countries, ranked 181 on the UNDP Human Development Index. The country is also vulnerable to climate change, experiencing recurrent droughts and flooding which undermine food security, livelihoods and public health. Mozambique has an installed power generation capacity of more than 2,000MW, however the majority of generated power is exported to South Africa leaving limited available capacity for domestic consumption. The Government of Mozambique (GoM) is therefore facing the dual challenge of mitigating and adapting to climate change while also increasing installed power generation capacity.
The GoM is committed to increasing electrification rates especially within rural communities and to closing the widening gap between power demand and supply. The GoM’s National Energy Strategy seeks to increase private sector involvement in the energy sector and promote new and renewable sources of energy. Approximately 60% of Mozambique’s power is currently supplied by the Cahora Bassa hydroelectric plant on the Zambezi River. The Government has however identified a further 100 sites with a collective hydropower potential of 15,000MW. Further increasing installed hydropower capacity has the dual advantage of supplying clean energy whilst also mitigating some of the worst effects of climate induced droughts and flooding.
The Pavua project will construct a dam and hydroelectric power plant on the Pungué River in the Sofala province of Central Mozambique. Pavua will be amongst Mozambique’s first renewables IPPs and will generate up to 160MW of electricity for the national grid. Pavua has also been designed to dampen fluctuations in downstream water levels. Regulating river flow will mitigate flooding risk, reducing maximum flood levels by up to 1.3m. During the dry season when rainfall is scarce, river flows could be increased by up to 32m3/s: this means more water for domestic consumption and irrigation and a reduction in the devastating impact of saline intrusion on crop yields. The holistic design of this project will therefore deliver reliable energy without compromising efforts to tackle global emissions and while also improving the productivity and climate resilience of downstream agricultural economies.
Being jointly developed by eleQtra (on behalf of InfraCo Africa) and Tora Holding.