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China State Grid Corp will be the main financier of the Regional Development Project for Energy Transmission between the Centre and South (Cesul) in Mozambique, Mozambique’s energy minister, Salvador Namburete told Macauhub in Maputo.
The Cesul project, which involves investment of around US$2 billion, known locally as the “backbone”, so far had no known financier, although several companies, such as South Africa’s Eskom, France’s EDF and Brazil’s Electrobras, had shown interest in being involved in its development.
“The partners are discussing the details, as it is an extremely sensitive project that involves a large amount of investment and several national and international partners,” said Namburete, adding that the “main financier” will be the Chinese company.
China State Grid Corp’s interest in the Cesul project was announced when Portuguese power grid company Redes Energéticas Nacionais (REN) bought 7.5 percent of the Cahora Bassa Hydroelectric Facility (HCB). China State Grid owns 25 percent of REN.
REN acquiring a stake in HCB allows the Portuguese State, which sold the stake, to remove itself from the Mozambican hydroelectric company’s shareholder structure, although the deal was announced as a temporary move as the Portuguese company’s interest was focused on ensuring its involvement in the Cesul project.
According to the Mozambican government the “backbone” is a strategic infrastructure for development of the power grid in the country, which is highly dependent on South Africa’s Eskom.
Development of the national power grid also involves other projects, including the Mpanda Nkuwa Hydroelectric Dam, which has potential production of 1,500 megawatts, and is fundamental for building Cesul itself.
According to the Mozambican minister, who Thursday took part in the “Powering Africa – Mozambique” conference, the development of the various power production projects the country has planned may involve investment of over US$15 billion.