Black & Veatch has started work on the project and is currently evaluating three schemes to optimize the utilization of the river in the generation of power.
USTDA, a federal foreign assistance agency, is funding the study for Electricidade de Moçambique to support the development of power sources for continued economic growth. At present, only 5 to 10 percent of the rural population of Mozambique has access to electricity.
The Lurio River has a total catchment area of 60,800 square kilometers (km2) and a mean annual flow of approximately 227 cubic meters per second (m3/s). The three schemes under study include the construction of a 7-km-long dam to regulate the flow of the Lurio River near the town of Ocua and to produce 65 megawatts (MW). The program also includes the evaluation of two 120-MW power plants downstream of the dam – one at the site of a natural waterfall and another site 25 km from the mouth of the river at the Indian Ocean.
“This project brings out the best of our global hydropower and dams team by drawing resources from the United States and Mozambique,” said Carlos Araoz, Black & Veatch Director of Hydraulic Structures and Hydropower Services. “The production potential on the Lurio River would not only supply the country’s northern region with much-needed electricity but would also allow Mozambique to export its surplus to neighboring countries.”
The Lurio River runs for about 500 kilometers from the southwest in Mozambique toward the coast to the northeast, arriving at the Indian Ocean at Lurio, about 40 kilometers south of Pemba.