Natural gas for Maputo homes

Natural gas will be provided to homes in Maputo and neighbouring town Marracuene from May 2014, according to the Mozambican energy minister Salvador Namburente.

The minister said that the natural gas will initially be supplied to Maputo and Marracuene's major energy consumers such as hospitals, hotels and retail centres, before being distributed to private homes.

Namburente could not provide a cost for the domestic connection to the gas pipeline but said "I know it will be cheaper than electricity, and much cheaper than charcoal or firewood, as well as much healthier."

The $38 million scheme began in March to pipe natural gas from the Temane and Pande fields in Inhambane located 470km north-east of Maputo. The project is being directed by Mozambique's state-owned National Hydrocarbon Company (ENH) and constructed by the Korea Gas Corporation (KOGAS).

The Inhambane gas fields are operated by South African petrochemical giant Sasol and the main pipeline leads to its plants in Secunda located about 130km east of Johannesburg in South Africa.

A second gas pipeline leads from the main line to Matola, a neighbouring city of Maputo in southern Mozambique. This will be extended to reach Maputo and the town of Marracuene, which lies about 30km north of the capital, with the new pipeline covering about 60km in total.