Mozambique has concluded the prequalification of seven potential investors for the development of the Mphanda Nkuwa Hydroelectric Project (MNK), a US$5 billion project on the Zambezi River in the western province of Tete.
The preliminary schedule indicates that the selection process will start in August 2024, with works on the construction of the power station and transmission line starting by December 2029, and the start of operations expected 2030.
The project is crucial for the realisation of the government’s objective of guaranteeing energy for all in Mozambique by 2030.
The announcement was made at the end of an investors’ conference in Maputo, the capital city, where the director-general of the project’s implementation office Carlos Yum said that the pre-qualified bidders, including two individual companies and five large consortiums, will visit the sites in Tete where the project will be built.
The visit will allow investors to find out the natural conditions of the project’s implementation site as well as data fundamental in the preparation of technical, economic, and financial proposals in response to the tender process, said Yum.
The government launched the tender for the selection of the strategic partner for the development of the MNK project and associated transport infrastructure in December last year.
The Mphanda Nkuwa Hydroelectric Project includes the construction of a run-of-river dam 61 kilometres downstream from the Cahora Bassa Dam on the Zambezi River in Tete province.
As part of the project, a hydroelectric power plant with an installed power production capacity of up to 1,500 megawatts and a 1,300-kilometre energy transmission line from Tete to Maputo are envisaged at the investors’ conference.
During the construction phase, more than 7,000 jobs will be created, and 50 per cent of the energy generated will be exported, contributing to the country’s economy and making Mozambique a regional energy hub, according to the data released at the conference.
The World Bank says it is awaiting a formal request from the government of Mozambique regarding financing for the MNK project, valued at around US$5 billion.
“We are currently awaiting a formal request from the government. But, overall, we think this project is very important to the government’s goal of universal access by 2030,” said Zayra Romo, World Bank Mozambique Lead Energy Specialist and Infrastructure Practice Leader.
Romo was speaking on the sidelines of the meeting with the project’s seven potential strategic investors organised by the government, represented by the Mphanda Nkuwa Hydroelectric Project Implementation Office.
Of the seven pre-qualified competitors, TotalEnergies competes in a consortium composed of itself and EDF SA, both from France.
Other competitors are ETC Holdings Mauritius, domiciled in Mauritius and Zambia, Longyuan Power Overseas Investment and PowerChina Resources, both from China, WeBuild Group of Italy and Zimbabwe, Scatec of Norway, plus Sumitomo Corporation and Kansai Electric Power from Japan.