A debt of over US$50 million owned by Mozambican state power company Electricidade de Moçambique (EdM) to the Cahora Bassa Hydroelectric Dam (HCB) can be paid off provide that consumers pay a “fair price” per kilowatt/hour of electricity, Mozambique’s Energy Minister Salvador Namburete said Wednesday.
At the end of a visit to the Maputo natural gas distribution centre, the minister said that consumers would have to pay more for the electricity they consume so that EdM can pay its debts to suppliers.
Last March, the chairman of EdM, Sousa Fernandes, said that the company was charging a lower-than-cost electricity tariff, which in the short term could have serious implications for its business.
Pointing to a figure of 0.10 to 0.12 meticals as an “ideal” rate, Sousa Fernandes said that the current tariff of 8 cents per kilowatt/hour “is not sustainable,” as the company pays around 9 cents.
In an interview with Mozambican daily newspaper Notícias, Sousa Fernandes said that the company’s costs of buying electricity had risen from US$63 million in 2011 to US$84 million in 2013 in line with a rise in consumption of around 70 megawatt hours, with no update to consumer prices.
According to Sousa Fernandes, just 26 percent of the Mozambican population has access to electricity, and 70 percent of consumption is for the domestic market and 30 percent for the industrial market. (macauhub/MZ)