Chinese firm heads consortium to build Mpanda Nkua hydro in Mozambique

21 July 2006

Maputo, Mozambique, 21 July – Chinese engineering company Sinohydro is leading the consortium that will construct the Mpanda Nkua hydroelectric dam in Mozambique’s strategic Zambezi Valley, according to a media report.

Africa Monitor reported that the consortium will comprise other Chinese companies and will also construct the Moamba-Major dam to supply Maputo with drinking water in a project worth US$ 300 million.

The two projects involve a combined investment of US$ 2.3 billion, which is being financed by China Exim Bank after the signing of an accord earlier this year between Mozambican Energy Minister Salvador Namburete and Exim’s chairman, Li Ruogu.

The Mpanda Nkua dam will start producing power six months after the beginning of construction work and the power plant is situated 60 kilometers downstream from the Cahora Bassa dam, southern Africa’s largest hydro which is in the process of being transferred from Portuguese to Mozambican ownership.

In return for its support in the two dam projects, Africa Monitor reported, China is negotiating to enter mining projects in the Moatize coalfield.

Beijing is also interested in developing agriculture undertakings in the Zambezi Valley involving Chinese firms.

Mozambique wants its dealings with China in the hydroelectric projects to safeguard the independence of its energy production infrastructures in relation to South Africa, the largest regional economic player and the main consumer of power from Cahora Bassa and natural gas from Mozambique. (macauhub)