17 October 2012 – There is significant interest in Mozambique’s 1‚500MW Mphanda Nkuwa hydropower project according to Alastair Campbell‚ Standard Bank’s executive vice-president for mining‚ energy and infrastructure finance.Standard Bank is the financial adviser on the project.

Shareholders in the project are Brazilian construction group Camargo Corrêa (35%)‚ Mozambican company Energia Capital (35%) and Mozambique’s national electricity utility‚ Electricidade de Moçambique (EDM)‚ with a 30% interest.

The project is significant for SA because 80% to 90% of its output will in all probability be bought by Eskom‚ with EDM buying the remainder. SA’s integrated resource plan for electricity (IRP2010) makes provision for 3‚349MW of imported hydro.

The Mphanda Nkuwa project is due for commissioning in either 2017 or 2018‚ according to Mozambique’s energy ministry. The plant‚ estimated to cost about US$4 billion‚ will consist of four turbines of 375MW each and 870MW of the capacity from the project will befirm power.

Eskom imports power from the Cahora Bassa and once the Mphanda Nkuwa project has been commissioned it will open up the way for the Hydro Cahora Bassa North Bank project to be developed.This would add a further 1‚800MW to the grid and together both projects would contribute in a significant way to the alleviation of the electricity shortages in southern Africa.Upgrades in transmission infrastructure would be required.