The government of Mozambique has selected the consortium of EDF, TotalEnergies, and Sumitomo to develop the 1.5GW Mphanda Nkuwa hydropower project (MNK) in Mozambique.

In this regard, the public and private sponsors signed a joint development agreement.

EDF leads the consortium with a 40% stake while TotalEnergies and Sumitomo own 30% each.

The Mphanda Nkuwa hydropower project will be developed by the consortium in collaboration with Gabinete de Implementação do Projecto Hidroeléctrico de Mphanda Nkuwa (GMNK), Electricidade de Moçambique (EDM), and Hidroeléctrica de Cahora Bassa (HCB).

EDM and HCB will hold a combined stake of 30% in the hydropower project while the EDF-led consortium will own the remaining 70% interest.

The consortium, EDM, and HCB have also signed a framework agreement with the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy (MIREME) to prepare for the future concession agreement.

To be located on the Zambezi River, 60km downstream from Cahora Bassa, and 60km from Tete City, the Mphanda Nkuwa hydropower project is expected to increase the available electricity production capacity of Mozambique by over 50%.

The proposed run-of-river hydropower project will power more than three million households in Mozambique and the neighboring region.

Sumitomo global power infrastructure business division corporate officer and general manager Koichi Taniguchi said: “This project will contribute to the increase of access to the electricity around the regions as well as becoming green energy hub in southern African countries.

“Sumitomo Corporation focuses on achieving carbon neutrality in 2050. In order to achieve the target and contribute to the realisation of a sustainable society, Sumitomo Corporation will further endeavor to be part of renewable energy projects.”

Besides, the Mphanda Nkuwa hydropower project will bolster economic and social growth in Southern Africa as well as make a significant contribution to the region’s energy transition by delivering reliable, competitive, clean electricity.

According to the consortium, the next phase of development includes conducting further studies. This will help to determine the best options in terms of environmental and social impact along with assuring the technical and financial viability of the hydropower plant.

EDF Group international division senior executive vice-president Béatrice Buffon said: “We are looking forward to contributing to Mphanda Nkuwa project which is a great opportunity to bring our technical expertise in hydropower and our strong environmental and social commitment in favor of local communities and biodiversity.

“This project will significantly enhance the access to electricity in the region and is fully in line with EDF’s ambition to build a net zero energy future with electricity and innovative solutions that drive economic development.”