China State Grid Corp plans to invest US$1.7 billion in the Centro-Sul (Cesul) project in Mozambique, which is intended to transport electricity produced at the Cahora Bassa hydroelectric facility to areas where it will be consumed, in the south of the country, Exame Moçambique magazine reported.
Following conclusion of feasibility studies funded by the European Investment Bank, the Mozambican government is now detailing the components of the future transmission network, which will be followed by making use of financing and launching concessions.
Sources cited by the magazine said that Portuguese power grid company Redes Energéticas Nacionais (REN) taking a stake in the Cahora Bassa Hydroelectric Dam (HCB) was the short cut China State Grid Corp needed to become part of the project, which is one of two large investments in the electricity sector in Mozambique. The other is construction of the Mpanda Nkua hydroelectric dam.
China State Grid Corp took a stake in HCB by acquiring a 25 percent stake in REN from the Portuguese state, as part of a package of privatisations included in Portugal’s financial clean up programme.
REN taking a stake in HCB was the end of a long process in which the Portuguese state handed over its controlling stake in HCB to Mozambique. Mozambique now owns 85 percent of the dam. (macauhub)