Hidroelectrica de Cahora Bassa (HCB), the company that operates the Cahora Bassa dam on the Zambezi River in the western Mozambican province of Tete, has announced that it produced 16,078 gigawatt-hours of electricity in 2015.
This is the highest annual production in HCB’s history and an increase of 6.8 per cent on the power generated in 2014. Production is now close to the maximum installed capacity (which is 2,075 megawatts).A press release from HCB announced that the company ended 2015 with a net profit of 4.155 billion meticais (71.6 million US dollars at current exchange rates). This was a 73 per cent increase on the previous year. HCB’s healthy financial situation has allowed it to continue paying in advance the 700 million US dollar loan contracted in 2007 which allowed the Mozambican state to take control of the company.Up until 2007, the Portuguese state owned 82 per cent of HCB, and Mozambique only 18 per cent. Under the agreement of that year between the two governments, the Mozambican shareholding increased to 85 per cent and the Portuguese holding fell to 15 per cent.To finance this sale the Mozambican government took on a US$700 million loan from a banking syndicate made up of French bank CA Lyon and Portuguese bank BPI, which would be paid off using profits from the company’s business.Furthermore, HCB’s performance in 2015 allowed the company to pay its two shareholders (the Mozambican and Portuguese states) a dividend that was 53 per cent higher than in 2014.