24 October 2015, Maputo — Lengthy power cuts are continuing to plague parts of Maputo city and Maputo and Gaza provinces, but the publicly owned electricity company, EDM, promises that the problem will be solved by late November.
The problem lies with the Matola sub-station, which is critical to the supply of electricity in much of southern Mozambique.
There are two transformers in the sub-station. One of them broke down in March, and the second suffered a major breakdown on 30 September, when the sub-station was hit by lightning. EDM’s estimate is that replacing both transformers will cost 100 million meticais (about 2.43 million US dollars, at current exchange rates).
While the repairs continue, EDM is planning power cuts, and hopes to restrict them to Fridays and Saturdays. Unlike previous power cuts, these have been announced to consumers in advance, which should help businesses minimize their losses.
These planned power cuts affect 14 areas in the central part of the capital, mostly in downtown Maputo, four neighbourhoods in the adjoining city of Matola, Namaacha district, on the border with Swaziland, and several parts of Xai-Xai and Chokwe towns in Gaza.
EDM teams have been working on repairing the Matola sub-station for the past three works, assisted by technicians from Portugal, the country where the transformers were manufactured. EDM spokesperson Luis Amado, cited by the independent television station STV, estimated it would take another five weeks to complete the work. EDM has hired an independent consult to check the quality of the repairs.
Currently, only one of the transformers is being repaired, and a new coil is being installed. EDM promises to repair the second transformer within the next six months.