Environmental impact studies for Mphanda Nkuwa hydroelectric dam, Mozambique, in their final stages

31 August 2009

Maputo, Mozambique, 31 Aug – The environmental impact studies for the construction of the Mphanda Nkuwa hydroelectric dam are in their final stages, Mia Couto said recently in Tete representing Coba-Consultores de Engenharia e Ambiente.

According to Mozambican newspaper Notícias, Couto, who in Tete issued the pre-environmental feasibility and definition of the scope of the Mphanda Nkuwa hydroelectric facility document, said that the studies carried out in 2002 had not identified any factor that would affect the environmental feasibility of the project.

Also according to Couto, positive impacts were identified such as the creation of new jobs, which would improve social and economic conditions, habitation and infrastructure.

Meanwhile, it is expected that construction of the facility will begin in 2011 and take four and a half years, employing around 4,000 workers at the height of its construction and generating over 12,000 indirect jobs, essentially at suppliers of goods and services related to the work.

The Mphanda Nkuwa Hydroelectric Dam (HMNK) will be built under concession, in which HMNK will be responsible for carrying out surveys and the project, construction, operation and maintenance of the facility for a period that has yet to be agreed with the government.

The total cost of carrying out the surveys and construction is around US$2 billion, with HMNK providing part of the cost and negotiating additional funding with potential financiers.

The Mphanda Nkuwa dam will be made from compressed concrete and be 90 metres high and 700 metres long. Its reservoir will cover an area of 100 square kilometres, which is much smaller than that of the Cahora Bassa dam, which covers 2,700 square kilometres.

Mphanda Nkuwa will be built on the Zambezi River, in the Changara district some 70 kilometres northeast of the city of Tete and 61 kilometres southeast of the Cahora Bassa dam. (macauhub)