Mozambique to pay Cahora Bassa debt to Portugal by December

28 September 2007

Maputo, Mozambique, 28 Sept –Mozambique’s minister for industry, Salvador Namburete, has said that the government will respect the December deadline deadline set for payment of US$700 million to Portugal for the change to the shareholder structure of the Cahora Bassa Hydroelectric dam (HCB).

Under the terms of a deal signed last December, Mozambique will own 85 percent of shares in HCB and Portugal the remaining 15 percent, of which it may have to sell 5 percent to a partner chosen by Mozambique.

The agreement stipulates that Mozambique has to pay the remaining US$950 million by December although the deadline could be extended to June 2008 due to extraordinary circumstances, as long as 50 percent of the debt is paid in 2007.

Speaking in Maputo, Namburete guaranteed that Mozambique would meet the payment deadline.

“The Mozambican economy is fully working, citizens are contributing with tax payments and exports are at a considerable level, which leads us to believe that the deadline will be met,” the minister said.

The electricity produced by the Cahora Bassa dam is exported to Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa, a country which consumes 70 percent of its production. (macauhub)