China to finance Mpanda Nkuwa Hydro-electric dam

By Richard High18 May 2009

The Export-Import Bank of China (China Exim Bank) is to finance construction of the US$ 2 billion Mpanda Nkuwa Hydro-electric dam in the northern Tete province of Mozambique, according to local media agencies.

The US$ 2.3 billion loan also includes funding for a transmission line from the dam site to the capital Maputo.

Quoting energy minister Salvador Namburete, the O Pais newspaper said surplus electricity from the 1350 MW dam, which is expected to start construction in 2010, will be exported to other Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries.

"We expect to finalise concession contract negotiations with the Electricity Company (EDM) and other clients by June this year, then conclude financial deals," Mr Namburete was quoted as saying.

"We expect the process to be finalised by December this year and construction should begin between April and May next year."

The Mpanda Nkuwa dam will be constructed 60 km downstream from the 171 m-high, 303 m-wide Cahora Bassa Dam, and, according to the government, will help attract energy-intensive industries to Mozambique.

The Cahora Bassa Dam system, which includes the Kariba and Itezhi-Tezhi dams, is the largest hydroelectric scheme in southern Africa with the powerhouse containing 5 x 415 MW turbines. It is one of the three major dams on the Zambezi river system

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