TotalEnergies aims to supply up to 1,000MW of electricity to South Africa from its proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG)-to-power project in Matola, Maputo province, following meetings with South Africa’s electricity minister, project director Antoine Mezin told the Mozambique Energy and Gas Summit today.
Discussions are ongoing regarding power purchase agreements but 1,000MW is targeted in the “mid-term”, Mezin explained. The company had talks with electricity minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa in May and July. TotalEnergies has also held meetings with South African mining and industrial companies, a number of which have expressed interest in buying electricity from the Matola LNG project, according to Mezin, who is based in Johannesburg, South Africa.
TotalEnergies is developing the Matola project with South African energy company Gigajoule International, with a view to making a final investment decision in 2024. The project will involve importing LNG to a regasification terminal at the Beluluane industrial park in Matola, where it will be turned back into gas by the Beluluane Gas Company and used to generate electricity at the 2,000MW Beluluane power plant, which is due to be operational by 2026 and would be the largest gas-fired power plant in Mozambique. This electricity could be sold to South African state-owned electric utility Eskom and to power-intensive industrial users.
South Africa represents a promising market for Mozambican power, as the country has experienced rolling blackouts of up to sixteen hours a day in recent months due to failing coal-fired power plants. The South African government declared a “state of disaster” in February as the power crisis deteriorated, but this was revoked in April, although regular blackouts continue.