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Mozambique floods hit power exports

  • A picture taken on January 15, 2013 shows residents standing near a house washed away by torrential rainfalls in Maputo on January 15, 2013. AFP PHOTO / STRINGER

JOHANNESBURG: Floods in southern Mozambique have cut power exports to energy-hungry neighbour South Africa in half, an official said on Thursday.

Key power lines to South Africa were damaged by the flooding of the Limpopo River, Hilary Joffe, a spokeswoman for South Africa's energy giant Eskom, told AFP.

"That has meant the supplies from Mozambique have been reduced. We are getting much less than 650 megawatts... which is less than half of what it should be," she said.

Eskom imports between 1,300 and 1,500 megawatts of electricity from Hidroelectrica de Cahora Bassa (HCB), the operators of one of Africa's largest hydro-electric projects.

The line gave in to raging flood waters that have submerged parts of Mozambique this week.

Work is underway to fix the transmission line, and South Africa is helping its impoverished neighbour with the repair works, the Eskom spokeswoman said.

In the meantime, the group is getting electricity from other providers to avoid brownouts.

The floods have forced Mozambique authorities to evacuate tens of thousands of people.

 
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