Portugal firm agrees to build Malawi port, two hydros

The government of Malawi has signed a memorandum of understanding with Portugal’s largest builder, Mota-Engil, for construction of a port in Nsanje and two hydroelectric projects.

Mota said May 26 the memorandum, signed by Mota-Engil SGPS SA, Mota-Engil Engenharia SA, Mota-Engil Ambiente e Servicos SGPS SA, and Escom-Investments Group Ltd., calls for the projects to be public-private partnerships but gave no financial details.

Rehabilitation of the port of Nsanje is to be undertaken as part of the Shire-Zambezi Waterway Project, to connect southern Malawi to the Indian Ocean by water.

The agreement calls for two hydroelectric projects to be located at sites to be designated by the government. They are to be the object of a concession contract for design, construction, operation, and maintenance. The concessionaire is to have the right to sell electricity to the national energy entity, Mota said.

The agreement also states that Martifer Energia-Equipamentos para Energia S.A. may participate in developing the hydropower projects.

Mota said the memorandum also included its potential involvement in future mining exploration in Malawi.

Malawi previously has expressed interest in building multi-purpose dams on six of its major rivers — Songwe, North Rukuru, Kasitu, Bua, Shire, and Ruo — to increase hydropower capacity, reduce flooding, promote irrigation, and provide safe drinking water. (HNN 12/6/06)

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