UPDATE – Detailed filing boosts Mozambique’s Mphanda Nkuwa to 1,500 MW

The detailed proposal for construction of the Mphanda Nkuwa hydroelectric project, delivered to the Mozambique government last week, boosts the capacity of the proposed project to 1,500 MW from 1,300 MW.

The government had awaited the filing of the project outline by Brazilian builder Camargo Correa and its Mozambique partner, Grupo Insitec, following a September meeting between the constructors and Mozambique President Armando Guebuza that endorsed the construction. (HNN 9/18/07) Energy Minister Salvador Namburete said final approval would be granted shortly.

In November 2006, the government of Mozambique signed a memorandum of agreement for development of Mphanda Nkuwa with a consortium of utility Electricidade de Mocambique (EDM), Camargo Correa, and Energia Capital, a unit of Grupo Insitec. The project is to be built on the Zambezi River, 70 kilometers south of the 2,040-MW Cahora Bassa hydro project.

Mozambique’s Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique (AIM) said the consortium trimmed the project cost to US$1.6 billion from the previous estimate of US$1.7 billion. Also reduced was the estimated construction time to 52 months from 73 months. Construction is expected to begin in 2009 with completion in 2013.

The project also includes a 1,400-kilometer transmission line from Mphanda Nkuwa to Maputo, at a cost of between US$1.7 billion and US$2.3 billion, depending on the option used.

Although China’s Export-Import Bank agreed in 2006 to invest US$2.3 billion in the project, AIM said there now is no certainty of Chinese involvement. Instead, the construction consortium is to negotiate project financing with banks, with no indebtedness or guarantees by the Mozambique government.

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