Mozambique: Ceremony for payment of debt to Portugal to be closed to the public

23 November 2007

Maputo, Mozambique, 23 Nov – The ceremony for Mozambique’s payment of the debt to Portugal relating to the change in shareholder structure of the Cahora Bassa Hydroelectric Dam (HCB) will be closed-off to the public and held on November 26 in Maputo, the Energy Ministry said Thursday.

The formalities will take place at the Joaquim Chissano Conference Center and the Mozambican government on that day is due to transfer US$700 million to the Portuguese state in order to have an 85 percent stake in HCB and for Portugal to reduce its own share to 15 percent.

Under the terms of the deal signed on October 31, 2006, Portugal has already received US$250 million from Mozambique, which with the next tranche will bring the total payment to US$950 million.

The contract will be signed by representatives of the two states, the HCB company, and the banking consortium BPI/Calyon, which will finance the deal by providing Mozambique with a loan for the US$700 million owed to Portugal.

The following day, a ceremony will be held in Songo, Tete province, where the project is located, to mark the end of the process, which has been described as “the second independence of Mozambique.” (macauhub)