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HCB Electricity Production Hit Five-Year Peak in 2022

HCB Electricity Production Hit Five-Year Peak in 2022

Mozambique’s Cahora Bassa Hydroelectric Plant (HCB) reached its highest electricity production in 2022 of the last five years growing by 5.1% compared to 2021, to 15,753.5 gigaWatt-hours (GWh), according to its report and accounts.

According to the recent investors’ document, which Lusa accessed this Tuesday, the 2022 peak in production approached that of 2015, when production reached 16,978.4 GWh.

“As a corollary of the operational performance, in 2022, HCB raised revenues above 27 billion meticais [€386 million]. Around 2,700 million meticais [€38.6 million] was channelled to the state in the form of concession fees, approximately 5,100 million meticais [€72.9 million] in the form of taxes, and more than 3,700 million meticais [€52.9 million] in dividends were paid to series A and B shareholders, values above the percentage recommended by the company’s statutes,” the document reads.

HCB closed 2022 with 780 employees and profits of 9,207 million meticais (€131.6 million), an increase of 9.3% compared to 2021.

“The ’27th of November’, Reversion Day, represents a milestone for reflection on the performance of Cahora Bassa which, it must be said, has been excellent and demonstrates its preponderant role as a dynamizer and anchor of the national and regional energy matrix, as well and the development of Mozambique, based on the contribution it makes to the economy, the payment of taxes, fees and dividends that contribute to the aim of materializing State projects,” says chairman of the HCB board of directors, Boavida Lopes Muhambe, in the document.

The commercial operation of that dam began in 1977, with the transmission of the first 960 MegaWatts (MW), produced by three generators, compared to the current installed capacity of 2,075 MW, according to HCB data.

Two milestones later made the ‘Mozambicanization’ of the enterprise possible, after Mozambique’s independence, company literature relates.

The first occurred on October 31, 2006, with the signing of the protocol detailing the necessary conditions for the transfer of control from Portugal to the Mozambican state, and the second materialized a year later, with the completion on November 27, 2007, of the reversal itself.

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The HCB reversion agreement allowed control of the dam to pass from the Portuguese state to Mozambique, in an event described by the then-Mozambican head of state, Armando Guebuza, as “Mozambique’s second independence”.

The Cahora Bassa reservoir is the fourth largest in Africa, with a maximum extension of 270 kilometres in length and 30 kilometres between banks, occupying around 2,700 square kilometres and an average depth of 26 metres.

The dam is situated in a narrow gorge of the Zambezi River. Its construction took from 1969 to June 1, 1974, when filling of the reservoir began.

In August of this year, HCB admitted it was “reactivating” a new planned hydroelectric project to the north of the present one, in response to growing demand for electricity in the region.

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