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Mozambique to sell majority stake in Mphanda Nkuwa hydropower project

The government of Mozambique plans to sell a majority stake in the proposed Mphanda Nkuwa hydropower project to potential investors in a bid to fast track or rather to reach financial close by 2024 on the US$ 4.4 billion project.

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This was disclosed by Carlos Yum, the director in charge of the project. He said that the government of the Southern Africa country will issue a request for proposals before the end of this year and that it will take up to four months to select the winner and another six weeks to negotiate the joint development agreement.

The successful investor(s) will implement the project in partnership with Electricidade de Moçambique (EDM), a state-owned Energy Company that deals with the generation, transmission, distribution, and sale of electricity, and Hidroelectrica de Cahora Bassa (HCB), the largest Independent Power Producer (IPP) in Southern Africa, providing hydroelectric power to Mozambique and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

An overview of the Mphanda Nkuwa hydropower project

Generally, the project is a 1,500MW run-of-the-river hydroelectric facility that is to be built on Zambezi River, in the Tete province of Mozambique. It comprises a 700m-long and 86m-high concrete gravity dam with 13 flood gates and a crest elevation of 211m. The dam will create a 100km² reservoir that will extend more than 60km on the Zambezi River as well as approximately 18km on the Luia River.

The project also comprises a powerhouse equipped with four Francis turbine units of 365MW each. At its full capacity, the project is expected to generate 8,600GWh of electricity per annum.

The electricity generated is planned to be evacuated through a 650km-long, 400kV high-voltage alternating current (HVAC) transmission line connecting the Cataxa substation at Marara. A 1,300km-long 550kV high-voltage direct current (HVDC) line to connect the Maputo substation in Mozambique with the South Africa Grid is also envisioned as part of the project.


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