Mozambican investors to have priority in concession on water supply to Maputo

5 February 2010

Maputo, Mozambique, 5 Feb – Mozambican investors will have priority when a new tender for concession of exploration of the water to supply to the Greater Maputo area, said the chairman of the Mozambican Fund for Investment and Water Supply Assets (Fipag) in Maputo.

Nelson Beete had recently said that when the contract that binds the Mozambican state and the Águas de Moçambique company, which is owned by Águas de Portugal (AdP), the water supply system of Greater Maputo would be handed over to private national investors.

Cited by Mozambican newspaper Notícias, the president of Fipag has now said that Águas de Moçambique may once again propose to manage the system but under the new terms of reference that will give priority to national operators who, in their turn, can establish partnerships with international operators to complement their capacities and in specific specialised areas.

“There is, in fact, no rescission of contract. In 199 when we signed the contract with AdM it outlined a period of 15 years and that is coming to an end. The government thought it best to make use of all the lessons learned, especially as Maputo has grown a lot and it is necessary to include other areas that are not being served at the moment, in order to improve the terms of the next contract,” Beete said.

Notícias said that one of the components that Águas de Moçambique is unable to properly organise is the customer service component which has been marked by continual complaints from customers who have no water but pay very high bills.

Águas de Moçambique also got involved in a controversy with Electricidade de Moçambique about long and systematic cuts in the water supply to the city, with AdM saying the electricity company was responsible as it did not provide a reliable power supply to the Umbelúzi water treatment station.

The contract for exploration of the water supply service was signed by Fipag and Águas de Moçambique, which included SAUR Internacional, a French consortium which at the time was majority shareholder, followed by Águas de Portugal (AdP) and MAZI, which is a group of Mozambican companies.

In 2002, the French shareholder pulled out of the company and AdP became the majority shareholder.

Based on the initial contract, which underwent a review in 2004, Águas de Moçambique eas directly responsible for the systems of five cities (Maputo, Beira, Quelimane, Nampula and Pemba) but after the review only provided technical assistance to the water supply systems of four cities, which are managed by Fipag. (macauhub)