Angola, Norsk Hydro to study developing up to 1,000 MW of hydro

Angola Energy Minister Emanuela Vieira Lopes signed an agreement May 5 with Norway aluminum producer Norsk Hydro to study developing 750 to 1,000 MW of hydropower integrated with aluminum production facilities.

Lopes and Deputy Industry Minister Kiala Gabriel signed a memorandum of understanding with Norsk Hydro Executive Vice President Arvid Moss to explore the feasibility of an integrated project for hydropower and aluminum production.

The state-run Angola Press said the energy minister emphasized the hydro project is directed to have as its basis the development of the Keve River, a basin with considerable hydropower potential that, so far, has been undeveloped. (HNN 8/29/07)

�This will involve the implementation of an integrated project for two hydroelectric centrals with an indicative capacity between 750 to 1,000 MW and electricity conveying lines,� Lopes said.

Norsk Hydro said it has been in talks for several years with the Angola government to advance the project. The agreement is the first step in exploring the project, with the parties now beginning an early fact-finding phase.

�If realized, the project will represent a long-term opportunity for Hydro that could also provide a significant boost to social and economic development in Angola,� Norsk Hydro said.

The minister said Angola’s economic growth is pushing demand for additional electric capacity, which mainly will be provided by hydropower.

She said feasibility studies have been conducted for the construction of the Middle Cuanza hydroelectric system on the Cuanza (or Kwanza) River as a reinforcement of the national electricity system.

A 2006 study suggested the United States should consider funding a 6,000-MW Middle Cuanza project. (HNN 11/24/06) The Western Power Corridor Project (Westcor) of Angola, South Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo, Namibia, and Botswana proposes a new transmission link to 6,500 MW of new hydropower projects in the Cuanza Basin. (HNN 12/20/06)

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