Mozambique, South Africa, Eswatini

Motraco High Voltage Transmission System

Fluor and Eskom established a joint venture, Trans-Africa Projects (TAP), to complete the project for Motraco.

TAP provided engineering, procurement, and construction management for a high voltage transmission project, from design through commissioning. The project involved the construction of two greenfield substations, four substation extensions, and two 40 kV transmission lines to provide power to a smelter in Mozambique.

TAP managed five transmission line construction contractors and seven transmission substation contractors in completing the work.

The joint venture completed the project under budget and ahead of schedule despite the severe flooding conditions and difficult terrain.

Client's Challenge

Motraco required a company to construct transmission lines to a smelter in Mozambique.

The Mozal Smelter Project was the largest foreign exchange earner in Mozambique at the time, and was subject to a high level of media attention.

Commissioning of the smelter was dependent on power provided by TAP's transmission project.

Fluor's Solution

TAP was responsible for conceptual design, detailed engineering, procurement, construction, testing, and commissioning of the transmission system to the Mozal Smelter. The joint venture completed five transmission line sections (Arnot to Maputo, 400kV line; Camden to Edwaleni, 400 kV line; Maputo to Infuleni, 275kV; 2 x Maputo to Mozal, 132kV) for a total length of approximately 600km.

Also completed were six substations (Arnot 400 kV Extension to Maputo; Camden 400 kV Extension to Edwaleni II; Maputo 400/275/132kV Substation; Infuleni 275kV Extension to Maputo; Edwaleni II Substation).

Tropical cyclones and flooding in the area during construction caused TAP to change construction contractors to ones that were familiar with helicopter erection techniques. The helicopters were used to transport personnel and cast foundations to the jobsites and to erect the transmission line towers. A specialized earthworks and civil contractor with suitable equipment to repair and construct access roads was selected to facilitate access to the jobsites.


Despite tropical cyclones and severe flooding at the transmission line sites, TAP delivered the project to Motraco under budget and ahead of schedule.

The joint venture provided the least costly, most effective solution by combining standard supplier products with in-house designs for individual components.

TAP understood the importance of meeting the schedule and took every measure to successfully deliver the project.