New Angolan hydro to power refinery, other industries

4 January 2006

Luanda, Angola, 4 Jan – The Capanda hydroelectric dam in northern Angola will provide power for a new oil refinery at the port of Lobito and allow development of iron ore mines and agro-industrial projects in several provinces, state news agency Angop reported Wednesday.

A total US$ 2.6 billion will have been invested on the giant Capanda hydo when it achieves its maximum generating capacity in 2007.

The dam, straddling the River Kwanza on the borders of North Kwanza and Malange provinces, began producing power for Luanda and Malange in 2005 with a 520 Mwatt capacity.

Capanda will allow the flow of the River Kwanza to be regulated, permitting the building of seven more dams downstream to generate about 6,000 Mwatts, Angop reported.

Upon completion, it will be Angola’s largest hyrdo and its four turbines will supply electricity to 6 million people in five provinces – or roughly half the country’s population.

Construction of the dam by a Brazilian-Russian consortium began in 1987 and the final building phase is being funded by loans totaling US$ 243 million from a Russian bank and Brazil.

The dam’s construction was suspended on several occasions during Angola’s civil war and only resumed in 2000. (macauhub)