The Mozambican government announced on Friday that it would launch international public tenders by June for contracting entities to carry out studies to construct the Mpanda Nkuwa hydroelectric dam, which will be the country’s second-largest.
The director of the Mpanda Nkuwa Hydropower Project Implementation Office (Gmnk), Carlos Yum, said at a press conference that the tender would select institutions to carry out environmental, market, hydrological, geotechnical and financial impact studies for the construction of the project.
“The studies are supposed to take between two and two and a half years to conduct, but we are trying to shorten them to a year to a year and a half,” Yum said.
Yum said that building the dam was expected to begin in 2024 and last at least seven years.
“Mozambique wants to be the energy hub in southern Africa because it has natural resources for that,” he added.
The infrastructure, he continued, is budgeted at between US$4.5B and US$5B and will have the capacity to generate between 1,300 and 1,500 megawatts.
That amount of power will make Mpanda Nkuwa the second-largest hydroelectric dam in the country, after the Cahora Bassa Hydroelectric Dam (HCB), which generates 2,070 megawatts.
With the two infrastructures added to other power generation projects operating at full capacity, Mozambique hopes to respond to the growing energy deficit plaguing southern Africa and the region’s economic development needs, the Gmnk director said.
Carlos Yum pointed out that the increased availability of power will also strengthen Mozambique’s chances of achieving universal access to energy for its population.
HCB was built during the colonial period but started production after Mozambique’s independence in 1975.