Angola minister urges construction, rehabilitation of hydro

An official of Angola’s Ministry of Energy and Water Affairs says Angola must build new hydroelectric projects as well as rehabilitate existing facilities for efficient development of its hydropower potential.

State-run Angola Press reported Deputy Minister Rui Tito told an international technical-scientific conference in Luanda that Angola currently is using only 4 percent — 790 MW — of its 18,000 MW of estimated hydropower potential.

The deputy minister said Angola has hydrographic basins with considerable hydro potential, notably the Longa and Keve basins, where there is no hydro development.

Tito said hydro construction and rehabilitation require large, often unavailable, financial resources. However, he said the state has set up a legal framework permitting the involvement of the private sector in production, transmission, and distribution of power.

As an example, he cited construction of the 16-MW Chicapa project, being built in Lunda Sul Province by a joint venture of Russian diamond miner Alrosa, with 55 percent, and Angola’s Empresa Nacional de Electricidade, with 45 percent. Earlier this year, the parties also agreed to develop the Chicapa 2 project. (HNN 4/5/07)

Tito said the ministry’s strategy, approved by the government in 2002, is based on promotion of local electricity sources, including construction of mini-hydropower projects, medium-sized hydro projects, and expansion of transmission and distribution.

Earlier this month, the Ministry of Energy and Water Affairs received a U.S. grant to prepare electricity distribution master plans for two cities and pre-feasibility studies for two small hydroelectric projects, 1.2-MW Kaquima and 2.7-MW Chafinda. (HNN 8/8/07) Additionally, Angola’s Cabinet gave approval August 2 to a US$158 million investment in a 20-month project to rehabilitate Gove Dam and construct a new 60-MW hydroelectric plant on the Cunene River. (HNN 8/3/07)

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