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Mozambique approves 1,500-MW Mphanda Nkuwa hydropower project

Mozambique's government has approved construction of the US$2 billion Mphanda Nkuwa hydropower project on the Zambezi River, with the project slated to begin construction in 2011.

Construction of the Mphanda Nkuwa dam and hydro project, which is expected to take five or six years, will begin next year after environmental and social-impact studies are completed, government officials told wire services. The hydro project is planned for the northern Tete province.

Four turbines, each with a capacity of 375 megawatts, would be built in phase one of the project, wire services reported. The project will be built 60 kilometers downstream from the Cahora Bassa hydroelectric project, the African Press Agency reported.

The project will be 40 percent owned by Camargo Corrêa Moçambique, 40 percent by Energia Capital, a Mozambican company, and 20 percent by Mozambique's government, reports indicate.

Thirty percent of the $2 billion needed for construction of the facility will come from investors, and 70 percent will be funded by banks, APA reported.

In other news, Zambia has signed an agreement with two Chinese companies to build the 600-MW Kafue Gorge Lower hydropower plant, officials in Zambia said.

Kafue Gorge Lower hydro plant is expected to cost about $1.5 billion, according to reports. Construction of the hydro plant is projected to start in April 2011, with the project's completion planned for 2017.

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