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voltage direct current (HVDC) line from the Songa substation at Cahora Bassa to the Apollo converter station near Johannesburg. Around 20 percent of HCB’s production capacity is directed towards Mozambique, which might seem a small proportion but represents a substantial increase when it is considered that as recently 2007 only 13 of output was consumed locally. Much of this increase is accounted for by the major coal and other mineral exploitation projects in Tete province, where the dam itself is located, such as Vale’s deposit in the Moatize Basin, and Rio Tinto’s Benga coal mine. As downstream industries develop in the port cities of Maputo and Beira and elsewhere, and the economy grows thanks partly to associated infrastructure development, demand for power is expected to increase rapidly. “There is no development without electric energy,” HCB’s CEO Paulo Muxanga says. “Because we are aware of this, we are always expanding our electrical power production capacity.” Muxanga, a former transport minister, replaced his Portuguese predecessor in December 2007 becoming the first Mozambican to occupy the position of chairman of the board of the Cahora Bassa It was under his leadership that HCB went through a period of unparalleled growth that culminated with reporting its

first profit in 2010. The following year saw a growth in profitability of more than 262 percent, to $130 million. On the production side, HCB maintains an enviable level of 99 percent reliability. Nevertheless to a greater or lesser extent Mozambique itself, South Africa, and all the other countries in the SACD region struggle with intermittent supply, causing problems

“As downstream industries develop demand for power is expected to increase rapidly” 108 | BE Monthly

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