The reservoir of the Laúca hydroelectric facility, under construction on the river Kwanza, in Angola’s Malanje Province, will start filling up with water on 11 March, with the closure of tunnel number 2 of the river diversion, Angolan news agency Angop reported.
The process will last 120 days, after which the reservoir will have accumulated 2.68 billion cubic metres of water, which will allow the facility to start producing power.
With a height of 132 metres and covering an area of 24,000 hectares, including the reservoir, the Laúca dam, with projected capacity of 2,070 megawatts, is currently the largest civil and mechanical engineering project in Angola.
The project, at a cost of US$4.5 billion, involves the construction, production, supply and commissioning of the power transmission system, and is the largest dam under construction on the Kwanza River, after the Cambambe with 960 megawatts and Capanda with 520 megawatts.
The start of operation, in July, of the main power plant at Laúca, with six generator groups of 334-megawatts each and an ecological centre with 67 megawatts in 2018, will benefit more than 8 million people and the industrial centres under construction in north, centre and south of the country.
The project to build dams on the middle region of the Kwanza River was based on an inventory conducted in the 1950s, requested by the then public company Sociedade Nacional de Estudo e Financiamento de Empreendimentos Ultramarinos (Sonefe) from the Hydrotechnic Corporation (USA), and was taken up again in 2008, with the completion of feasibility studies requested by the Angolan government.
A total of seven dams may be built in the middle Kwanza region, which includes the municipalities of Cacuso, in Malanje and Cambambe in the province of Kwanza Norte and when in operation, they will produce a total of 7,000 megawatts of electricity. (macauhub)