Cahora Bassa hopes to double its production

Hidroelectrica de Cahora Bassa (HCB), the company that runs the Cahora Bassa dam on the Zambezi, the largest dam in southern Africa, hopes to double its production over the next five years, to meet rising demand for electricity in the region.

The dam’s existing power station on the south bank of the river contains five turbines, each with the capacity to generate 415 megawatts. Thus the current total theoretical generating capacity of HCB is 2,075 megawatts.

The plan to double capacity was announced at the dam town of Songo, in Tete province, on Sunday, during the fourth anniversary celebration of Mozambique taking a majority shareholding in HCB in 2007.

Gildo Shibumbe, a member of the HCB Board, representing the company’s chairperson, Paulo Muxanga, said before a large audience of HCB employees that “major investments have been designed to ensure the sustainability of operations of the company”.

Among the measures, emphasis is on construction of a second Cahora Bassa power station, on the north bank, with the capacity to generate a further 1,245 megawatts of power. This additional power can supply electricity to the national grid, particularly the projected new power lines that will connect the Zambezi valley to Maputo and the rest of southern Mozambique.

The new transmission lines will take electricity directly to Maputo. Currently Cahora Bassa supplies energy to the north of the country and to neighbouring Zimbabwe and South Africa. Electricity is then transported from South Africa to southern Mozambique, along a line rented from the South African electricity company Eskom.

The package of HCB projects also includes rehabilitating the floodgates an he Songo sub-station, interventions that Shibumbe claimed will change the face of the company in the short and medium terms.

“With these investments, we hope that in the next four to five years we can double our production and sale of power”, he concluded.

Post published in: Africa News

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