Mozambique restores power to Eskom

15 November 2002 – A dispute over power prices between Mozambican hydroelectric power producer Hidroelectrica do Cahora Bassa (HCB) and South African power utility Eskom was settled Thursday.

HCB cut the power supply in October after Eskom refused to accept its demands for a higher tariff payment and the settlement means the restoration of some 750 MW of daily supply to South Africa.

The dispute did not affect Eskom’s ability to supply power but interim payments will mean a resumption of cross-border electricity supplies from the Cahora Bassa dam . A meeting between the governments of both countries, Eskom and HCB is planned in order to continue negotiations for the future.

The Cahora Bassa dam was constructed in the 1970’s, only to have its operations interrupted by Mozambique’s 16-year old civil war, which ended in 1992. Portugal owns a majority stake in the dam.

The electricity from the dam is fed directly into Eskom’s national grid although some of the power finds its way back to customers in Southern Mozambique through the South African transmission grid.

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