Africa-Press – Mozambique. “The survey of the international market is not a procurement process; it precedes the launch of the tender for the selection of the strategic and financial investor for the development of the Mphanda Nkuwa Hydroelectric Project (MKN). This test is essential to ensure that the strategic and financial partner selection process is attractive, competitive and participatory”.
On Wednesday, 29 September, the Mozambican government held a virtual conference in the international market with potential strategic and financial investors in the development of the Mphanda Nkuwa Hydroelectric Project (MKN) and the associated energy transport infrastructure.
Entitled “Potential Investors Market Survey”, the event, which had 155 participants from 35 internationally renowned electricity generation and transmission companies from countries from all continents, as well as 12 commercial banks and bilateral and multilateral financial agencies, served to test the international market and was carried out through two virtual plenary sessions.
The survey aimed to ensure that the selection process for the strategic and financial partner is attractive, competitive and participatory, given the size of the required investment, which is in the order of US$5 billion, and the complexity of the associated legal and financial transaction.
“The Ministry took the decision to relaunch the 1,500 MW Mphanda Nkuwa Hydropower Project and associated transmission facilities last year and shortly thereafter established and commissioned an independent technical team within the Mphanda Nkuwa Implementation Office (GMNK) and the national energy concessionaire, Hidroeléctrica de Cahora Bassa, to lead the selection of a strategic partner for the implementation of the project,” Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Ernesto Max Tonela, said.
The MKN will be located downstream of the current Cahora Bassa dam and is of utmost importance to Mozambique as a reliable source of clean, low-cost electricity.
“We consider this project a prerequisite for accelerating economic growth and improving the standard of living of all our citizens,” Tonela added.
Mphanda Nkuwa is an integral part of the Mozambican government’s Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan. According to the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy (MIREME), Mphanda Nkuwa will support the realisation of the government’s vision of universal access to electricity by 2030, stimulate industrialisation and drive economic growth through reliable transmission infrastructure.
Additionally, the project will create energy export opportunities to strengthen Mozambique’s position as a regional electricity centre while ensuring security of domestic power supply.
The next step will be the launch of the tender for the selection of the strategic partner, scheduled for December of this year. The selection of the investor will be made in 2022, based on criteria of technical capacity, financial strength and international experience in the development of hydroelectric projects.
Mphanda Nkuwa Hydroelectric project
The Mphanda Nkuwa Office (GMNK) was created through Ministerial Diploma nº 18/2019, of February 7th, by MIREME (Ministry of Natural Resources and Energy). The main objective is to ensure the coordination of actions for the implementation of the MNK project.
The Mphanda Nkuwa Hydroelectric Project, with a run-of-river dam, will be located 61 km downstream of Cahora Bassa on the Zambezi River in Tete province. It will have installed power production capacity of not less than 1,300 Megawatts, of which 760 Megawatts will be of firm capacity. [Firm capacity is the amount of energy available for production or transmission which can be (and in many cases must be) guaranteed to be available at a given time.]
The configuration and specification of the power transmission line, for the distribution of power from Mphanda Nkuwa, will be determined by updating the transmission study, on the basis of lower infrastructure cost.
The power transmission line from Tete to Maputo will be around 1,300 kilometres long.
The project will be implemented in strict compliance with national standards and internationally accepted best practices, for the development of projects of this nature, to mitigate negative impacts and maximize positive aspects. In this context, GMNK has established an institutional partnership with the International Hydroelectricity Association (IHA), to ensure an appropriate assessment of the project’s sustainability and the required certification, including training and institutional capacity building.