Mozambique's Mphanda Nkuwa hydropower project commits to sustainability

A significant step has been taken towards more sustainable hydropower in Mozambique, with a collaboration between Mphanda Nkuwa Hydroelectric Project Implementation Office (GMNK), representing the Government of Mozambique acting through the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy (MIREME), and the International Hydropower Association (IHA).  

The new partnership is building capacity within the Mozambique energy sector, with training from IHA in how to improve the sustainability performance of hydropower projects, as well as providing guidance on the development of the Mphanda Nkuwa hydropower plant.

Joao Costa, IHA’s Head of Sustainability said: “This partnership aims to build awareness, facilitate dialogue and strengthen local institutional capacity to manage environmental, social and governance issues. GMNK have shown their strong commitment to hydropower sustainability and IHA is delighted to be working with them on this initiative.”

Carlos Yum, Executive Director at GMNK said: “The Mozambique Government is committed to a sustainable and clean energy system and hydropower has a central role to play in this. GMNK is very pleased to be collaborating with IHA on how to optimise the sustainability of the Mphanda Nkuwa project and expect to also gain important knowledge and lessons on how to approach future hydropower projects as well.”

A training course focused on how to assess the project’s sustainability using the internationally-recognised Hydropower Sustainability Tools is being delivered this week and has been made possible with financial support from the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD).

An assessment of the project using the Environmental, Social and Governance Gap Analysis Tool or HESG will also be implemented with the financial support of NORAD.

Mr Costa added “The HESG enables hydropower project proponents and investors to identify and address gaps against international good practice across environmental, social and governance performance criteria. The tool provides an action plan to help project teams address any gaps against good practice. It is divided into 12 sections which are compatible with IFC’s Environmental and Social Performance Standards and the World Bank’s new Environmental and Social Framework.”  

HESG criteria includes project benefits, community impacts, infrastructure safety, public health, cultural heritage, indigenous peoples, biodiversity and invasive species, erosion and sedimentation, climate change mitigation and resilience, among others.

This week’s training course had participants from government ministries and other key institutions in the energy sector such as: National Utility (Electricidade de Moçambique), the Cahora Bassa’s hydropower plant, the Energy Regulatory Authority, and Fundo Nacional de Energia. Non-governmental and civil society organisations attending included Justiça Ambiental, Centro Terra Viva, the World Wildlife Fund, and the Confederation of Economic Associations of Mozambique.      

About IHA and IHA Sustainability

The International Hydropower Association (IHA) is a non-profit membership organisation committed to sustainable hydropower. Our mission is to advance sustainable hydropower by building and sharing knowledge on its role in renewable energy systems, responsible freshwater management and climate change solutions.  

IHA Sustainability is a non-profit sub-division of IHA. It manages the Hydropower Sustainability Tools under a mandate from the Hydropower Sustainability Council and its governance committee. As part of its management role, IHA Sustainability designs and delivers training and accreditation courses to practitioners in the use of the Hydropower Sustainability Tools. It also assists hydropower developers and operators to identify accredited assessors for independent project sustainability assessments.

For more information about the Hydropower Sustainability Tools, visit

Privacy Policy