Sale of Portugal’s stake in Cahora Bassa, Mozambique due to be decided Tuesday

29 November 2011

Lisbon, Portugal, 29 Nov – The sale of the 15 percent stake held by the Portuguese state in the Cahora Bassa hydroelectric facility (HCB) is expected to be decided during the Portugal-Mozambique summit in Lisbon, by representatives of the two countries, according to the Portuguese press.

In an interview with a Portuguese newspaper, the President of Mozambique said he had been assured by Portugal’s Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho when they met in New York last September, that a final decision would be made about who would keep the remaining 15 percent of HCB still in the hands of the Portuguese state after 85 percent of the capital was sold to Mozambique.

The Portuguese press said, although no official confirmation has been made, that the 15 percent will be shared by two companies, half going to Portugal’s REN – Redes Energéticas Nacionais, and the other half to Companhia Eléctrica do Zambeze (Ceza), which is the Mozambican state company that manages HCB, in Songo, Tete province.

If this actually how the operation is carried out, REN will be a partner of the Mozambican state in building the power transmission line linking Tete to Maputo, the official launch of which was last week in the Mozambican capital.

At the meetings that President Armando Guebuza had Monday in Lisbon with Portuguese businesspeople with investments in Mozambique, the most notable was the chairman of Galp Energia, Manuel Ferreira de Oliveira.

The list of companies still investing in Mozambique despite Portugal’s financial crisis is a long one. It includes Portucel, which plans to build a pulp and paper factory costing US$1.7 billion, Galp, which has pledged to invest 1 billion euros, Visabeira, which plans to invest another 1.46 million euros in the hotel industry in Gorongosa, hotel group Pestana, which will invest 47.5 million euros in addition to the millions it has already invested over the last 16 years, as well as TAP Air Portugal which has promised to increase its flights to and from Mozambique. (macauhub)