Plant II of the Cambambe dam in Angola goes into operation

30 June 2016

The first of a group of four turbines that make up the second phase of the Cambambe Hydropower Plant is due to start operating Thursday, said the representative of the Mid Kwanza Utilization Office (Gamek) in the project.

João Eduardo Ferreirinha Borges also told Angolan news agency Angop that the turbine with a 175-megawatt production capacity “will be synchronised with the grid so that tests and trials of the second plant can continue.”

By December the four turbines should be producing 700 megawatts, which in addition to the 260 megawatts added to the first plant will total 960 megawatts of electricity.

The Modernisation and Expansion Programme of the Cambambe Dam included the elevation of the 100-metre drop to 130 metres, and construction of a new plant with four generators of 175 megawatts each.

The work, which will give rise to the largest power production centre in the Mid Kwanza basin, involves Brazilian construction company Odebrecht, German company Voith, providing the turbines and the generators and also Brazil’s Engevix, specialised in electrical engineering.

The Cambambe dam on the River Kwanza, 200 kilometres from Luanda, began construction in 1958 and was inaugurated on 6 October 1963 by the then Portuguese President Américo Thomaz.

Built by Hidroelectrica Zêzere and a totally private investment, the dam was the result of negotiations for installation in Angola of an aluminium plant with high electricity consumption needs.

The aluminium plant never went ahead and construction that was already under way stopped without the initial project being completed, and the dam was halted at a height of 102 metres (above sea level) and four generator sets (two were only installed in 1969) with a total of 180 megawatts of installed capacity, to provide electricity to Luanda. (macauhub/AO/BR/PT)