Angola’s Cambambe Dam 50 years old

8 October 2013

The Cambambe hydroelectric dam in Angola’s Cuanza Norte province marked its 50th anniversary on Sunday, during a time when it is undergoing modernisation that will enable it to increase production from 180 to 960 megawatts, reports the Angop agency.

The dam was inaugurated on 6 October 1963 in a ceremony headed by the then president of Portugal, Admiral Américo Thomaz, who travelled from Lisbon to Cambambe in what was then a Portuguese overseas province.

Construction had begun in 1958 and ended in 1962, when the 45-megawatt group 1 began operating. Group 2, with similar output, began operating the following year, and supplying electric power to Luanda and the northern part of the country.

The two other plants (3 and 4) only began operating in 1972, adding 90 megawatts to what would become the current total output of 180 megawatts.

The Cambambe dam has been supplying electric power to Luanda and other provinces of Angola for 50 years. During this time the country’s demographics have changed considerably, especially in Luanda, where the city’s population has grown from about half a million in 1975 to nearly 5 million in 2013, accompanied by exponential growth in power consumption.

To meet demand the government adjudicated in 2009 the modernisation and expansion of the Cambambe hydroelectric complex. The aim is to increase output from the current 180 megawatts to 960 megawatts in 2015. (macauhub)