Cahora Bassa Hydroelectric dam in Mozambique to invest US$20 million to prevent water leaks

9 August 2010

Maputo, Mozambique, 9 Aug – The Cahora Bassa Hydroelectric dam (HCB) is due in September to start repairing the dam’s nine penstocks in order to prevent water leaks, in a project costing some US$20 million, Mozambican newspaper “O País” reported.

The dam, which is 171 metres high and 303 metres wide, was built over 30 years ago by Portugal and produces around 2,075 megawatts of power.

In 2007 Mozambique took control of the dam after paying Portugal US$530 million for a majority stake. Portugal still has a 15 percent stake in the dam.

According to the chief executive of HCB, Gildo Sibumboos nine of the penstocks at the dam, which is one of the biggest in the world, are experiencing “early aging,” due to having been open during the 16 years of the civil war in Mozambique, which ended in 1992, due to a drop in electricity production.

“The leaks that are occurring in the sluices are not at all dangerous, but make the water management of the dam more difficult, both in the dry and wet seasons,” said the HCB CEO.

Construction work will take place in the dry season in order not to interfere with power production. (macauhub)