Hydroelectric capacity to be restored at Angola’s Matala dam

31 May 2010

Matala, Angola, 31 May – Electric power production capacity at the Matala hydroelectric dam, 180 km east of Lubango, will be increased from 26 to 40 megawatts, Energy and Water Minister Emanuela Vieira Lopes has announced.

Conditions are in place to ensure the availability of quality power in Huila and Namibe provinces within 42 months, Viera Lopes said on Friday after the cornerstone ceremony launching the project being built by the French group SCN-Lavalin.

The Matala dam will be subject to a thorough overhaul, with the three existing turbines replaced by new ones in a project estimated at US$255 million, she said.

Work at the complex will focus on physical infrastructure, the bridge, power plant and generating system. While it is under way the power supply to Lubango and Namibe will not be interrupted.

Feasibility studies are being conducted regarding the construction or restoration of other dams around the country, as well as some mini-hydropower projects, Vieira Lopes said.

The Matala dam was built in the 1960s and conceived to generate 39 megawatts. However, the three generator groups were never fully operational and that target was never reached. (macahub)