Two international consortia competing for Mozambique’s super dam


By Amb. Emmanuel Mwamba

Two international consortia competing for Mozambique’s super dam

The international groups are in the race to became strategic partners to the 1500MW – US4.5B Mphanda Nkuwa hydroelectric project.

ETC Holdings, ZESCO Limited, CECOT (a subsidiary of Mota-Engil) and PetroSA (A subsidiary of Central Energy Fund, South Africa) and;
Électricité de France (EDF), Total Energies and Sumitomo Corporation.

According to the implementation office, the next stage will consist of the evaluation of the proposals, in accordance with Mozambique’s Public Private Partnership Law, by an Evaluation Committee chaired by the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy and constituted by EDM, HCB, the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the Ministry of Land and Environment, the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security and the Bank of Mozambique.

The implementation office also noted that the selection will be based on the criteria of technical capacity, financial strength, and international experience, specifically in the development of hydroelectric projects. In addition to these requirements, the proponents will need to contract a tender financial guarantee in the amount of US$10M.

The selected consortia will be responsible for investing between US$500M and US$700M as their equity share in the total investment required.

A strong step towards regional energy transition

Mozambique continues to position itself as a regional green transition powerhouse. Once Mphanda Nkuwa goes online, the 1500MW hydropower plant will supply 9,000 GWh of clean electricity to the Southern Africa Power Pool thereby displacing an estimated 8 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year.

The project will critically contribute to the green transition domestically and regionally and not only will provide a flexible and reliable source of baseload power, but also play an essential role in the transition towards green industrialization and electric mobility in the medium and long term for the entire region.

According to the implementation office, the project is being implemented in strict compliance with internationally accepted global standards and tools for social, environmental, and governance (Environmental Social and Governance, ESG) for mitigating negative impacts and maximizing positive aspects, assessment and certification, which privilege the creation of opportunities for local communities, minimize and mitigate the adverse impact on the biodiversity heritage.

The project is said to be the lowest-cost option for power generation. It will position Mozambique as a regional energy hub, and contribute to universal access and industrialization, job creation, technical training, and energy exports.

With two international consortia competing for Mozambique’s super dam, it becomes clear that the project will be fundamental for the process of energy transition and decarbonization in the Southern region of the African continent.


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