Artist’s impression
of the Mphanda
Nkuwa power project
in Mozambique
 
Maputo, Mozambique — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 28 February 2011 – South African national power utility Eskom Holdings Limited will be making the decision on whether South Africa will buy Mozambique’s additional hydropower when its second large dam is completed.

Deputy director-general for the Mozambican energy ministry Tseliso Maqubela said here that only Eskom could answer on the 2 400MW that the Mphanda Nkuwa project would produce. He revealed that technical teams from both countries’ energy utilities were negotiating in parallel with government officials.

“Also at top level, the ministers of both countries have met to discuss any stumbling blocks or regulatory issues,” Maqubela added after a meeting between South African energy minister Dipuo Peters and the Mozambiquan ministers of energy and of mineral resources. The ministers will hold a follow-up meeting in South Africa in April or May.

Environmental studies on the US$2 billion dam, 60km downstream from the Cahora Bassa Dam, on the Zambezi river, will be completed by the end of the year. The intention is to start construction later this year, and to compete the project by the end of 2015 or early 2016.

Mozambique’s sale of gas to South Africa has come under fire recently as the country’s own gas for home use ran out. Some economists and civil society have also argued that Sasol’s contract with Mozambique should be renegotiated so that the company pays more tax.