(Bloomberg) -- Mozambique selected a consortium including TotalEnergies SE and Electricité de France SA as strategic partners in a $4.5 billion hydropower project planned for the center of the southeast African nation, the government said in a statement Friday.

The 1,500-megawatt Mphanda Nkuwa dam and an associated transmission line may play a key role in mitigating a regional electricity shortage.

Neighboring South Africa is suffering its worst-ever power deficit, with rolling blackouts often lasting more than 12 hours a day, while Zambia and Zimbabwe have also battled shortages this year. Less than one-third of Mozambique’s population had access to electricity in 2020, according to the World Bank. 

Mphanda Nkuwa will be about 60 kilometers (37 miles) downstream the Zambezi River from the existing Cahora Bassa hydropower dam that has the capacity to generate 2,075 megawatts of power, more than half of which is sold to South Africa. The government previously said financial close was scheduled for 2024, and project completion by 2030.

The partners will be need to invest $500 million to $700 million in the project, according to the government.

The two consortia that bid for the project are: 

  • ETC Holdings, Zesco Ltd. of Zambia, CECOT, a Mota-Engil subsidiary, and PetroSA, a unit South Africa’s Central Energy Fund
  • EDF, TotalEnergies and Sumitomo Corp.

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