Mozambican government approves construction of new dam on Zambezi river

17 September 2007

Maputo, Mozambique, 17 Sept – The Mozambican government has approved the construction of the Mphanda Nkuwa dam in the Zambezi valley, central Mozambique, Portuguese news agency Lusa reported Friday.

The mega dam, which is expected to cost US$2 billion, will have a power production capacity of 1,350 megawatts (the Cahora Bassa dam, along the same river has a capacity of 2,075 megawatts) and is likely to be financed by the Export-Import Bank of China (Eximbank).

Brazilian construction group Camargo Corrêa and its Mozambican partner group Insitec are due to present the outline for the construction project to the Mozambican government on September 27.

Last Wednesday the boards of both groups had an audience with Mozambican president, Armando Guebuza, during his visit to Brazil.

After analyzing the project, the Mozambican government is expected to move ahead with looking for financing to build the dam.

The Mphanda Nkuwa dam is intended to supply surplus power to other countries in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC).

With 39 rivers flowing into the Indian Ocean, Mozambique has pone of the highest electricity generation potentials in Southern Africa, estimated at up to 12,000 megawatts of electricity (the country consumes just 350 megawatts).

Mozambique has just 12 medium-sized and large dams, which are not enough to meet its increasing needs and to minimize the effects of the droughts and flooding to which the country is susceptible.

Eximbank is also financing the construction of the Moamba dam, in the Incomati river, some 80 kilometers south of Maputo. (macauhub)