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Mphanda Nkuwa: European Union Assesses Project Implementation Status

Mphanda Nkuwa: European Union Assesses Project Implementation Status

The soon-to-be-implemented Mphanda Nkuwa project represents a substantial investment in renewable energy infrastructure, which should meet the country’s growing energy needs, and is positioned as a solution for mitigating climatic events and preserving the environment, both for Mozambique and for other countries in the region.

It has aroused the interest of a number of countries and organisations around the world. With this in mind, a mission made up of the heads of co-operation and member states of the European Union (EU) in Mozambique recently made a four-day working visit to the province of Tete, with a view to assessing the state of implementation of renewable energy projects.

According to a statement, the mission met with the team from the Mphanda Nkuwa Hydroelectric Project Implementation Office (GMNK) and the strategic partner, with the aim of gaining a better understanding of the development of the activities.

‘The meeting served to share detailed information and progress on the various activities underway, from social, environmental and financing issues, among others. They visited the site where the future dam will be built, along the Zambezi River, and interacted with the local and provincial authorities,’ the statement said.

The document emphasised that the trip to that province was part of the monitoring and follow-up of energy projects financed by the European Union.

Recently, the director of the GMNK, Carlos Yum, said that compliance with international environmental standards is essential to mobilise funding for the project.

‘If we don’t comply with this [environmental requirements], it will be more difficult to get funding,’ he said on the sidelines of the Spring Meetings of the World Bank (WB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Yum argued that the project also has commitments to the social component, namely the resettlement of populations within the law and good governance. ‘This is part of our DNA and the better we fulfil these premises, the better the quality of financing,’ he emphasised, adding that the project is credibly structured to mobilise the resources needed for its development.

The project will take five years to build and is expected to start operating in 2031. With an estimated cost of 4.5 billion euros, the Mphanda Nkuwa project includes the development of a run-of-river dam, located 61 kilometres downstream from Cahora Bassa, on the Zambezi River, as well as the construction of a hydroelectric power station with an installed power generation capacity of up to 1500 Megawatts and a high-voltage power transmission line, from Tete to Maputo, of approximately 1300 kilometres.

Last December, the government and a consortium led by Electricité de France (EDF) signed agreements to implement the project. The international consortium is also made up of the French oil company TotalEnergies and the Japanese Sumitomo Corporation, which jointly own 70 per cent of the hydroelectric plant. Representing the Mozambican state, Hidroeléctrica de Cahora Bassa (HCB) and Electricidade de Moçambique (EDM) hold the remaining 30 per cent.

With the start-up of Mpanda Nkuwa, HCB will continue to be the largest in the country, with a current production capacity of 2075 MW.

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