The first of the six 334-megawatt turbines of the Laúca hydroelectric project, under construction on the waterfall of the Middle Kwanza, will start producing electricity on Friday, following load synchronisation tests that started on 9 July, Angolan news agency Angop reported.
In order to make power generation possible at the dam, which has been under construction since 2012, in Malanje, filling of the Laúca reservoir began on 11 March 2017 to collect enough water (2.68 million cubic metres) and drive the dam’s six turbines.
This project, Angola’s largest civil engineering and hydroelectric power plant, is a US$4.5 billion public investment, producing more than twice the power of the largest currently operating dam, in Cambambe, at 960 megawatts.
The Laúca facility, a structural electricity sector project that is part of the National Development Plan (2012-2017), will inject 2,070 megawatts into the national electricity grid and when fully completed (in 2018) will allow the beginning of the interconnection process of the northern, centre and southern systems in the country.
With Laúca and adding this facility to the 750-megawatt Soyo combined cycle power plant, the Angolan electricity sector will have an installed capacity of 5,000 megawatts in 2018, while the target is to reach 9,000 megawatts by 2025, to respond to domestic demand.
The Laúca project was the result of an inventory study carried out in the 1950s, requested by the then public company Sociedade Nacional de Estudo e Financiamento de Empreendimentos Ultramarinos (Sonefe) to the Hydrotechnic Corporation (USA), which concluded that seven dams could be built on the Middle Kwanza.
Of the seven dams planned for the Middle Kwanza, three have already been built, namely, the Cambambe, Capanda and now Laúca, and the Túmulo do Caçador, Luime, Zenzo I and Zenzo II dams have yet to be built.
With a height of 156 metres, 1,200 meters in length and an area of 24,000 hectares, including its reservoir, Laúca is the second largest dam under construction in Africa, after the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which may generate 6,000 megawatts of electricity. (macauhub)