Boosting Angola’s power production capacity improves economic conditions

18 March 2019

The increase in the power production capacity of the Laúca and Capanda dams will create conditions for the improvement of economic activity in Angola, according to Banco de Fomento Angola (BFA).

In one of its latest summary reports on the Angolan economy, BFA pointed out that for the first time, the Laúca and Capanda dams reached full simultaneous capacity in February, which should “be reflected in greater security of electricity supply.”

After the start of operation of the fourth Laúca turbine in December 2018, production capacity, according to the BFA, is expected to increase again this year, with the installation of the last two turbines. In the Northern system, the last two turbines (of a total of six) are being installed in the Soyo power station, while the fourth turbine is expected to start operating in the next few days.

“It will be important to monitor developments in connection projects between the North, Central and South electricity system, which should allow better conditions for economic activity throughout the country,” said BFA.

Yamba Ambrósio of Odebrecht Angola recently stated that the last two Laúca hydroelectric turbines are expected to start operating by the end of the year, with a capacity of 333 megawatts of electricity each.

Located in Malanje province, the work is executed to about 90%, and will be formally delivered to the Angolan government after the installation of the turbines, said the head of the subsidiary of Brazilian group Odebrecht, in charge of the work.

Built on the middle Kwanza, Laúca is the largest dam ever built in Angola, and has been projected for a total production capacity of more than 2,000 megawatts, which is more than Mozambique’s Cahora Bassa dam.

When it reaches maximum capacity, it will produce more than twice the electricity than the two previous large dams: Cambambe and Capanda.

Although it is currently the largest dam in Angola, this status should be transferred to the Caculo Cabaça dam, also on the Kwanza river, a project estimated to cost over US$4.5 billion, whose first stone was laid by former President José Eduardo dos Santos, in 2017.

The work was awarded by the Angolan government to a consortium made up of the China Gezhouba Group Corporation (CGGC) and Niara Holding.

Irregular electricity supply in several provinces across the country has been identified as one of the main obstacles to Angolan economic development.

The director of the Institutional Communication Office of the National Electricity Distribution Company, Pedro Bila, said in a recent interview with Jornal de Angola that the energy currently produced is enough to cover all of Luanda, ending the “many restrictions that have been seen over the last ten years.”

Bila also said that the electrification programme covers the provinces of Luanda, Benguela, Huambo, Huíla and Cabinda and will be extended as financial resources become available. (Macauhub)