Angola plans five hydroelectric projects on middle Cuanza River

Angola’s agency for development of the middle Cuanza River says five new hydroelectric projects will be built bringing total hydropower on the reach to 7,000 MW.

Director Elias Estevao of Gabinete de Aproveitamentodo Medio Kwanza (GAMEK) said September 4 that construction of the five new dams is part of a national program for development of the middle Cuanza (or Kwanza). Angola’s National Water Directorate recruited consultants in March to develop an integrated water resources management plan for the hydropower-rich Cuanza.

Estevao said studies already have been conducted for hydro projects Caculo-Cabaca, Zenzo 1, Zenzo 2, Tumulo do Cacador and Luime.

A 2006 study suggested the United States should consider funding a 6,000-MW Middle Cuanza project.

The Cuanza already is the location of major hydroelectric projects including 2,067-MW Lauca, 260-MW Cambambe, 700-MW Cambambe 2 and 520-MW Capanda.

Angola President Jose Eduardo dos Santos visited the Lauca hydro project construction site September 4. Chairman Lopo do Nascimento of project developer Coba said the project is proceeding at a satisfactory pace and is about to move into a more complicated second phase.

Lauca is to feature a 132-meter-tall, 1,100-meter-long roller-compacted-concrete dam with a reservoir of 188 square kilometers. Brazilian construction company Odebrecht began work on the project in 2012, with completion planned by 2017.

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