Mozambique’s Mpanda Ncua hydroelectric dam to cost US$1.5 billion

8 March 2006

Johannesburg, South Africa, 08 March – The Mpanda Ncua hydroelectric dam in Mozambique is expected to cost US$1.5 billion, less than was initially expected due to changes made to the project, the director of the technical unit for Mozambican hydroelectric projects, Nazário Meguiguy said Tuesday.

Speaking on the sidelines of the African Ministerial Conference on Hydropower and Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, Meguiguy said that by the end of the year Mozambique will set up an agency to manage the Mpanda Ncua and Cahora Bassa development projects.

This agency, he said, would approach investors in Africa and Europe, with the aim of involving them in developing the two projects.

The Mpanda Ncua dam will be located 70 kilometers down stream of Cahora Bassa, in the Zambezi valley, and will have a 1,300 megawatt capacity.

According to Meguiguy, Mozambique decided that the dam would be served by a 1,600 kilometer transmission line stretching to Maputo, rather than the two lines that had initially been planned in order to reduce the project’s cost.

Initial estimates pointed to a cost of around US$2 billion, but the new choice makes a US$500 million saving.

The Cahora Bassa extension project, which increases the capacity of Southern Africa’s largest hydroelectric dam by 850 megawatts, will also make use of the transmission lines, Meguiguy said.

Mozambique plans to increase its generation capacity to boost its exports to South Africa, which due to increased power consumption will have a larger power deficit by the end of next year, according to official forecasts.

As well as this, consumption is expected to increase in Mozambique also, due to construction projects for a titanium factory and an extension on the Mozal aluminum factory. (macauhub)