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Mozambique in full control of the Cahora Bassa dam


14:38, November 22, 2012

MAPUTO, Nov. 21 (Xinhua) -- Mozambique is now in full control of the Cahora Bassa hydro-electric dam, in the northwestern province of Tete, after share acquisition.

Under an agreement signed between the Maputo administration and the government of Portugal on Tuesday, Mozambique snatched 92.5 percent of the shares of the power generating project, built by Portugal during the colonial time.

The accord, signed by Mozambican minister of energy, Salvador Namburete, and the Portuguese minister of economy and employment, Alvaro Pereira, envisaged the handover of 7.5 percent share the Portuguese government had retained. The remaining 7.5 percent is owned by the Portuguese power company REM.

Namburete told reporters that the signing of the agreement shows the two governments are still working together on the dam project.

The dam's construction work started in 1970 with the aim not only to generate electricity, but also to block the advancement of the struggle by Frelimo as a movement against the Portuguese colonialists.

Around 10 years ago, Mozambique only owned 18 percent of the shares in the dam. Around five years ago, after lengthy talks between the governments of Portugal and Mozambique, the southern African nation acquired 85 percent of the shares, following the payment of more than 900 million U.S. dollars.

The main aim of the Mozambican government is to take over the dam completely from Portugal and sell more power to other African nations.

Currently, Mozambique sells electricity to neighboring Zimbabwe and Swaziland. Botswana, Malawi, Tanzania and the DR Congo have also expressed their desire to purchase power from Mozambique.

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