The consortium made up of the Portuguese group and the Électricité de France group are the two competing for the strategic partner of the Mphanda Nkuwa hydroelectric mega project, in Cabo Delgado, which will have an installed power production capacity of 1,500 megawatts.
The Mota-Engil consortium will compete with Électricité de France (EDF) for the project for a mega dam in Mozambique, which is expected to involve overall investment of US$4.5 billion (about 4.2 billion euros at current exchange rates).
The Mphanda Nkuwa Hydropower Project Implementation Office announced at the end of last week that these are the two bidders for the project’s strategic partner, for financing, construction and operation of this power production venture, which will join Eletricidade de Moçambique (EDM) and Hidroelétrica de Cahora Bassa.
The grouping that includes Mota-Engil, through its Mozambican subsidiary CECOT, includes the US company ETC Holdings, as well as Zambia’s Zesco and South Africa’s Central Energy Fund – which may acquire energy from EDM – and is mainly African. The EDF consortium also includes France’s Total Energies and Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation, according to information from the office responsible for implementing the project.
After seven consortiums were pre-qualified by the Mozambican government, the qualification phase of this international public tender began in June 2022, and the deadline for submission of technical, economic and financial proposals from the bidders for the strategic partner ended last Friday. In a note released, the same entity said that the next stage will consist of evaluating the proposals, in accordance with the Public Private Partnership Law, by an evaluation committee chaired by the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy. “The selection of the strategic investor will be based on compliance with current Mozambican legislation, technical capacity, financial robustness and international experience in developing hydroelectric projects,” it said, adding that in addition to these requirements the proposals will have to be accompanied by a financial guarantee of US$10 million.
The strategic partner that will be chosen will be responsible for investing between US$500 and US$700 million (around 470 to 650 million euros), corresponding to the proportion of its stake in the total investment, which is estimated at US$4.5 billion.
According to the Mozambican government, the Mphanda Nkuwa hydroelectric project includes development of a run-of-river dam, located 61 kilometres downstream of Cahora Bassa, on the Zambezi river, in Tete province, a hydroelectric power station with installed power production capacity of 1,500 megawatts and a high voltage power transmission line from Tete to Maputo, over 1,300 kilometres long.
According to the Mozambican press, this mega dam on the east coast of Africa will make it possible to boost the country’s electricity capacity and has the potential to sell power to neighbouring countries, with support from the World Bank, the African Development Bank (ADB), the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Southern Africa Power Pool (SAPP).