Angola says first unit of 16-MW Chicapa to operate in May

Angola officials say the first unit of the 16-MW Chicapa hydroelectric project is expected to begin operating in May.

Lunda Sul Province Energy and Waters Director Junior Tito said the first 4-MW turbine-generator would begin operation in May, state-owned Angola Press Agency said January 9. The project eventually is to generate 4 MW for the city of Saurimo and 12 MW for Catoca Mining Society under a 40-year concession.

Tito said work to rehabilitate the Saurimo electricity network is to begin in January to guarantee delivery of power to the city without mishap.

Chicapa is being developed by the Hidrochicapa consortium of Angola’s Empresa Nacional de Electricidade, with 45 percent, and Russian diamond company Alrosa, with 55 percent. The project is being financed by Alrosa, built by Alrosa Vneshtroy LDA, and supervised by Lenhaydro.

Located in Lunda Sul, 24 kilometers from Saurimo, Chicapa is to include a reservoir of 1.64 square kilometers, a power plant with a head of 34 meters, and diversion and discharge channels. In addition to power generation, the project will provide irrigation, river flow control, water for consumption, and fish farming.

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