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Mozambique: Sweden to Finance Power Line in Niassa

Jun 13, 2007 allafrica.com

Sweden has pledged 80 million Swedish crowns (about 11.3 million US dollars) to build a new electricity transmission line in Mozambique's northernmost province of Niassa, according to the economic councillor at the Swedish embassy in Maputo, Anton Johnston.

The line will link the city of Cuamba to the capitals of Mecanhelas and Marrupa districts in the east of the province, and is part of the Mozambican government's programme to ensure that at least 101 of the 128 district capitals are linked to the national power grid, based on the Cahora Bassa dam, within the next three years.

According to the publicly-owned electricity company EDM, so far 60 district capitals are receiving power from the national grid.

"This project hasn't yet begun, but we have an agreement on it, and we expect construction work to begin shortly", Johnston told AIM, after a recent visit to Niassa where he assessed various projects in that province funded with Swedish aid.

Sweden has already co-financed, with about 100 million dollars, the project to expand the Cahora Bassa power lines northwards from Zambezia province to Cuamba and to the Niassa provincial capital, Lichinga, in the west of the province, with an interconnection to the town of Metangula, on Lake Niassa.

Sweden also financed the rehabilitation and resurfacing of the road from Litunde to Marrupa, part of an ambitious project to give Niassa a reliable road to the Indian Ocean coast. This stretch was finished about 18 months ago, and is fully operational. The next stage was to upgrade the dirt road from Marrupa to Ruaca, on the boundary with the neighbouring province of Cabo Delgado. Work began on this about a year ago.

"Now this stretch of the road, running for more than 70 kilometres, will be tarred between 2007 and 2009", said Johnston.

The Lichinga-Litunde stretch is already tarred, but work must also be done in Cabo Delgado, upgrading and tarring the road from Ruaca to Montepuez. When this is concluded, it will be possible to drive all the way from Lichinga to the Indian Ocean port of Pemba on tarred roads.

This road project also involves funds from Japan and from the African Development.

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