ADB to act as advisor for Mphanda Nkuwa
London, 25 May (AIM) – The African Development Bank (ADB) on 24 May signed an agreement with the Mphanda Nkuwa Implementation Office under which it will act as advisor for the development of the hydroelectric dam at Mphanda Nkuwa, on the Zambezi River about 60 kilometres downstream from the existing dam at Cahora Bassa in western Mozambique.
This agreement was signed on the sidelines of the 57th annual conference of the ADB in Ghana’s capital city of Accra and witnessed by Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi and African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina.
The project will generate 1,500 megawatts of electricity and require an investment of US$4.5 billion. It will also involve the construction of a 1,300 kilometre high voltage direct current transmission line between the dam and Maputo.
According to the ADB, the next step in the project will be to put into place the financial arrangements which are expected to be completed by the end of 2024, with commissioning of the power plant taking place in 2031.
The director of the Mphanda Nkuwa Implementation Office, Carlos Yum, explained that “the partnership with ADB further strengthens the capacity of our implementing agency to develop the Mphanda Nkuwa project”.
He added, “the ADB will ensure that world class environmental, social and governance and associated standards are adhered to during the development and that the project is attractive to reputable developers, financiers, and investors to ensure competitive and least-cost power for Mozambique and the region”.
Speaking on behalf of the ADB, its vice president Kevin Kariuki pointed out that “the project reinforces our efforts to combat climate change in a region that is desperately short of power but equally in need of transformation and a just energy transition”.
In a press release, the ADB notes that “continued expansion of Mozambique’s generation capacity is required to meet growing domestic demand and to drive economic and social development. In addition, the southern Africa region offers market opportunities that Mozambique is well placed to meet as a supplier of competitively produced energy. Mphanda Nkuwa is projected to have one of the lowest electricity production costs in the region”.
The Mozambican government is committed to providing universal access to electricity by 2030 which will require increasing generation and transmission to meet growing demand and coverage. In addition, Mozambique is increasing its exports of electricity to southern Africa. To meet these growing demands, several power generation projects have already come online including the 175 MW thermal power station at Ressano Garcia, the 40 MW Mocuba solar plant in Zambezia province, and the 40 MW Metoro solar plant in Cabo Delgado. In addition, a 450 MW gas fired power station project is currently under construction at Temane, in the southern province of Inhambane.
For the longer term, the Mphanda Nkuwa project will play an important role in the Mozambican government’s National Energy Sector Master Plan 2018–2043 and the regional Southern Africa Power Pool Plan.