Portugal’s REN to take stake in Mozambique’s Cahora Bassa Hydroelectric dam

28 November 2011

Maputo, Mozambique, 28 Nov – Portuguese power grid company REN – Redes Energéticas Nacionais is due officially to take a stake in Mozambique’s Cahora Bassa Hydroelectric dam (HCB) Monday or Tuesday during the Luso-Mozambican summit, Portuguese news agency Lusa reported.

The acquisition will be confirmed during the summit due to begin Monday in Lisbon and marks the end of the Portuguese state’s direct involvement in one of Africa’s biggest dams, which was built in 1969.

Portugal, which in 2007, handed over the majority of JHCB’s capital to the Mozambican State, still has a 15 percent share but has committed to sell this off, in equal parts, to Portuguese and Mozambican investors; most likely Mozambique’s Companhia Eléctrica do Zambeze (CEZ).

By taking the stake in HCB, REN will consolidate its stake in of the biggest project underway in Mozambique – the construction of a North-South power transmission line stretching for 1,300 kilometres.

This “backbone,” as it is known, will now be divided by the Maputo government into a number of sections, and then funding will be secured and concessions launched.

Among those interested in funding the project, other than REN, are France, Norway, the European Reconstruction and Development Bank and Brazilian power company Eletrobras, Mozambique’s Energy Minister, Salvador Namburete recently said. (macauhub)