The reservoir of the Lauca hydroelectric plant is due to start being filled with water in February 2017, a process that will take 120 days to reach a depth that will allow power production to begin, said the director of the project.
Elias Estevão told state newspaper Jornal de Angola the installation of power transmission lines that will connect Lauca to the the Capanda dam is underway. Work on the Capanda dam is due to be finished later this month and Estevão added that power transmission lines will be installed connecting Lauca to Cambambe, and Lauca to Cacuso, Calandula and Malanje.
The Lauca dam, which is considered to be the largest civil engineering and mechanical project in Angola, is located 47 kilometres from the Capanda Hydroelectric Facility, in Malanje and 400 kilometres from Luanda.
With an investment of US$5 billion, involving the construction, production, supply and commissioning of the power transmission system, the hydroelectric project in Lauca is the third dam under construction on the Kwanza River, after the Cambambe and Capanda dams and the second largest under construction in Africa.
The dam has a height of over 100 metres, the equivalent of a 44-storey building and occupies an area of 24,000 hectares, including the reservoir.
The commissioning of the main plant, from the first half of next year, will benefit more than 5 million people in the north, centre and south of Angola.
The project arose from an inventory study done in the 1950s, prompted by the then public company National Society for the Study and Overseas Business Finance (Sonefe) to the Hydrotechnic Corporation (USA), which was resumed in 2008, with the completion of feasibility studies requested by the Angolan government from Brazilian group Odebrecht.
The work to divert the river included excavation of two tunnels on the right bank of the Kwanza, 14 metres in diameter, and took 20 months. The second phase of the project included the construction of the main plant and ecological centre and the third stage includes the electro-mechanical component and transmission lines. (macauhub)