Maintenance work to begin on Cahora Bassa Hydroelectric dam, Mozambique

30 November 2010

Maputo, Mozambique, 30 Nov – Maintenance work is due to start on the nine penstocks of the Cahora Bassa Hydroelectric Dam (HCB) in order to prevent water loss, chairman Gildo Sibumbo said, cited by the Mozambican press.

According to Sibumbo 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 chairman.

Sibumbo did not anme the company that would carry out the maintenance work on the dam, which because it will take place only in the dry season – between April and October – will take three years, buts said that the work would cost 540 million meticals, or around US$15 million.

The Cahora Bassa Dam, which is 171 metres high and 303 metres wide, began to be built around 40 years ago by Portugal during the colonial period and now produces around 2,075 megawatts of power.

The work will take place three years after the shareholder structure of HCB was changed, with Mozambique taking on an 85 percent share in the project after signing an agreement with Portugal in November, 2007. (macauhub)