Sale of Portuguese state’s stake in Cahora Bassa hydroelectric facility still unresolved

21 June 2011

Maputo, Mozambique, 21 June – The sale of a 15 percent stake owned by the Portuguese state in the Cahora Bassa hydroelectric facility (HCB) should be carried out under the terms of an agreement signed by Mozambique and Portugal in March 2010, Mozambique’s energy minister, Aiuba Cuereneia said cited by daily newspaper Notícias.

The agreement stipulates that the stake will be split into two equal portions and one will be transferred to Mozambican power company Companhia Eléctrica do Zambeze and the other handed over to Portugal’s REN – Redes Energéticas Nacionais, for later sale to Portuguese companies.

The deal was due to have been concluded by 31 December, 2010, but Portuguese financial newspaper Diário Económico recently reported that the process was at a standstill due to “considerable” disparities in the valuation of the project.

Commenting on the news, Cuereneia said that the agreement was clear and that 7.5 percent of the stake had to be sold to Companhia Eléctrica do Zambeze but, according to Notícias, he did not refer to the “disparities in the valuation of the project.”

Asked about whether the current economic and financial crisis in Portugal was affecting the sale of the HCB stake, Cuereneia said that the terms of the agreement were clear and added that, so far, “there has been no contact from the Portuguese government about this matter.” (macauhub)