Hidroelectrica de Cahora Bassa (HCB), the company that operates the Cahora Bassa dam on the Zambezi River, in the western Mozambican province of Tete, has signed a loan agreement for 100 million euros (about 106 million US dollars) with the French Development Agency (AFD), which will help finance HCB’s ten year rehabilitation programme, known as its “Capex Vital”.
According to a Tuesday press release from the AFD and the European Union, this programme aims at extending the life of the HCB equipment by at least 25 years, including the refurbishment of the power plant and the electrical substation.
“It will improve operational reliability, reduce forced outages and maintenance costs, and restore international standard performance levels”, the release said.
The AFD loan is complemented by a 22 million euro delegated grant from the European Union to AFD. The release says this targets additional components to increase HCB’s sustainability “in the areas of reservoir water management, training, digitalization, and resilience of its infrastructure”.
The AFD and EU financing, the release adds, “will contribute to mitigating long-term operational risks and will help HCB maintain its position as key player and vital supplier of green energy in the region, as well as a strategic enterprise of the Mozambican economy”.
“This new partnership between AFD and the EU in the energy sector”, it says, “will contribute to the implementation of the Team Europe Initiative Green Deal, officially launched in Maputo on December 6, 2022”.
HCB operates the largest dam and power station in Mozambique. With an installed capacity of 2,075 MW, HCB is the main electricity producer in Mozambique and a major player in the energy sector in southern Africa.