Mozambique’s Cahora Bassa hydro-electric dam produced 1.39 per cent more power in 2018 than planned.
According to a HCB media statement seen by APA on Monday, production in 2018 was 13,659 gigawatt-hours (GWh) and this this result was due to a gradual improvement in the storage of water in the reservoir behind the dam.
"This was due to increased inflow of water, and to water management measures taken by HCB, thus calming fears that the dam would have to cut sharply electricity generation because of lack of water", read the statement.
For 2019, HCB has set a production target of 14,809 GWh.
The company added that the increase in electricity production also results from the modernisation of the dam, and the building of a power station that is now under way.
The $10.5 million upgrade of the dam, which supplies power to Mozambique and to neighbouring South Africa, was financed from the company’s own balance sheet.
HCB is implementing a ten-year capital expenditure programme of investments in the dam, the power station, the two sub-stations (at Songo and Matamo) and on the transmission lines.
These investments are intended to increase HCB’s “technical and operational reliability”, and prolong its useful life: the dam and its power station have now been in operation for more than 40 years.
The release added that the HCB Strategic Plan for 2018-2022 envisages expanding the company’s productive capacity, diversifying its business and exploiting new opportunities for investment in the energy sector.
HCB, which has suffered from decades of neglect and lack of investment, exports 60 percent of its power to South African power utility Eskom and 35 percent to the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA).
The balance is consumed locally.