Angola: Chicapa hydroelectric dam begins supplying electricity to eastern Angola

25 August 2008

Luanda, Angola, 25 Aug – The Chicapa hydroelectric dam, in the Angolan province of Lunda Sul, with a 16 megawatt production capacity, was inaugurated Friday and is now supplying energy to the city of Saurimo and the Catoca diamond project.

Located 12 kilometres from Catoca and 24 kilometres from Saurimo, the project was funded by Russian multinational diamond company Alrosa and the dam will also supply water for agriculture and encourage fish farming.

The power plant is the result of a partnership between Angolan electricity company, Empresa Nacional de Electricidade (ENE) and Alrosa.

This is the first time the private sector has been involved in developing the electricity sector in Angola in the post-independence period.

The local diamond industry will reduce its energy bill now that the Chicapa dam has gone into operation.

Angola’s Energy and Water minister, Botelho de Vasconcelos meanwhile announced that studies were underway with a view to building the CHicapa 2 power plant.

The minister said that the partnership between ENE and Alrosa was an example, “of the openness of the electricity sector to national or foreign private investment and its degree of viability.” (macauhub)