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The first large scale solar power station in Mozambique has been inaugurated by the country’s president, Filipe Nyusi. The plant is situated at Mocuba in the Zambezia province, covering a 126-hectare site in the area.

Nyusi during the inauguration said that the government is determined to expand access to electricity at the lowest cost possible. Also, the government is including the use of new and renewable sources of power, stimulating the development of technologies from solar systems, wind and hydropower to its energy base.

The plant is a result of a partnership between the Norwegian independent electricity producer, Scatec Solar (52.5 percent); the Norwegian Development Financial Institution, KLP Norfund Investments (22.5 percent); and the Mozambican publicly-owned electricity company, EDM (25 percent).

“We are proud to complete the first large scale solar power plant in Mozambique in close cooperation with our partners. The solar plant will be an important contributor to increase the share of renewable power in the country by delivering clean energy to around 175,000 households,” said Raymond Carlsen, CEO of Scatec Solar.

In addition, the 40 Megawatt solar power plant will deliver 79 Gigawatt hours (GWh) per year of the much-needed electricity to northern regions of the country. The clean energy produced will contribute to avoiding about 75,000 tonnes of carbon emissions annually.

More so, the power plant is an important step in Mozambique’s plan to increase renewable energy sources of electricity production through its “Energy for All” programme. It has a life expectancy of 25 years and will supply 85 percent of the region’s annual energy needs. Out of 216,000 people live in the region, only eight percent of households have access to electricity. The project is expected to raise that proportion to a quarter.

The project was financed through $76 million in investment, $14 million provided by partners, $7 million in donations from other sources and $55 million from a loan negotiated through the World Bank, the Climate Investment Funds initiative and the British Department for International Development.

Meanwhile, an agreement was signed in December 2018 to build a plant with a French company Neon, one of the largest independent power producers in France. Construction of the solar power station is expected to start later this year at Metoro, in Ancuabe district, the northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado.

By Toboloba Ishola.

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