Mozambique has taken control of Cahora Bassa on the Zambezi river in the western Tete province following an agreement with Portugal, the former owner. Under the agreement, the former colonial power now has only a 15 per cent stake in Hydroelectric of Cahora Bassa (HCB), the company that operates the facility. Mozambique instead owns 85 per cent of the shares. The transfer of ownership has cost the country $950 million, much of which has been borrowed from the Canadian consortium Calyon and a Portuguese bank.
Construction of Cahora Bassa began in 1969 and the dam began to fill in 1974. However, during the 1976-1992 civil war it was barely used. With a capacity to generate 2,075 megawatts, it is the second largest dam on the continent in size after Aswan in Egypt.