In a landmark deal, Mozambique has inked an agreement with a French-led consortium to build the Mphanda Nkuwa hydropower project, a $5 billion investment that will harness the Zambezi River’s mighty waters to generate much-needed clean energy.
The first phase of the dam and hydropower plant, which will be constructed along the Zambezi River in Tete province to the north of Mozambique, is expected to produce 1,500 megawatts of electricity.
“This is the first concrete step for Mozambique to capitalise on the immense hydropower potential of the Zambezi River and the country’s other energy resources,” Mozambique Energy Minister Carlos Zacarias said in a statement.
He continued, “The new dam will help position the country of southern Africa as a regional exporter of clean, renewable energy and provide low-cost electricity to it.”
A transmission line measuring over 1,300 kilometers (800 miles) will connect Tete to the capital, Maputo, thanks to the dam.
At a signing ceremony that was seen by top Mozambican and French government figures, including President Filipe Nyusi, the first turbine is anticipated to start operating by 2031, according to the officials.
The bigger Cahora Bassa Dam in Mozambique, which is also situated on the Zambezi River, already provides electricity to neighboring South Africa, the most industrialized nation in Africa, even though that nation is currently experiencing the worst power shortages in recent memory.
TotalEnergies (TTEF.PA) and Sumitomo Corporation (8053.T) comprise the winning consortium led by EDF, and will develop, build, and operate the Mphanda Nkuwa hydropower project.
The Franco-Japanese consortium holds 70 percent ownership in the enterprise, with Mozambique’s power utility EDM and Hidroeléctrica da Cahora Bassa (HCB) taking the remaining 30 percent.