Home Business Mozambique: Mphanda Nkuwa to Start Generating Power in 2030

Mozambique: Mphanda Nkuwa to Start Generating Power in 2030

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Maputo — The proposed new dam at Mphanda Nkuwa, on the Zambezi river, 60 kilometres downstream from the existing dam at Cahora Bassa, in the western Mozambican province of Tete, could start generating electricity in 2030, according to the official government spokesperson, Deputy Justice Minister Filimao Suaze.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, after the weekly meeting of the Council of Minsters (Cabinet), Suaze said building the new dam will cost about four billion US dollars. It will produce 1,500 megawatts of power, and much of that electricity will be sent southwards on a 1,600 kilometre transmission line from Tete to Maputo.

“It is expected that 2030 will see the effective take-off of this project”, declared Suaze. He expected construction to take six years.

There is nothing new about the idea to build a dam at Mphanda Nkuwa. The project has been on the table for decades, but was relaunched in August 2018, by President Filipe Nyusi, who announced that the public electricity company EDM, and the company that operates the Cahora Bassa dam, HCB, will be in charge of reviving the initiative.

The problem remains finding a definitive buyer for the power generated at Mphanda Nkuwa. The obvious buyer is the South African electricity company, Eskom, which already purchases the bulk of the power generated at Cahora Bassa. But so far Eskom has not committed to buying more hydropower from Mozambique, despite the rolling blackouts (known euphemistically as “load shedding”) that it imposes on South African consumers.

The Council of Ministers discussed the development of other water resource storage and management projects, among which Suaze stressed the dam at Mapai, in the southern province of Gaza, regarded as crucial for controlling flooding in the Limpopo Valley.