Angolan officials break ground on 2,170-MW Caculo Cabaca hydropower plan, generation begins at 2,070-MW Lauca

Work on Angola’s 2,170-MW Caculo Cabaca hydroelectric plant has begun, following the ceremonial laying of the project’s first stone by President Jose Eduardo dos Santos last week.

The US$4.5 billion facility is being built by the China Gezhouba Group Co. Ltd., and continues investments by Chinese financiers and businesses into the African country’s economy. China is Angola’s largest trading partner, while Angolan infrastruture projects have benefitted from nearly $50 billion in total Chinese investments, according to the Chinese embassy.

Work on Caculo Cabaca is scheduled to take 80 months, during which time China Gezhouba expects to hire as many as 10,000 workers. CGGC will also be responsible for operating and maintaining the plant for a four-year period after its completion, as well as providing training for Angolan technical personnel.

Caculo Cabaca is one of several hydropower projects proposed for construction along the middle reaches of Angola’s Cuanza River.

Lauca goes on line

Also included in the Cuanza River proposal was the 2,070-MW Lauca hydropower project, which saw the first of six turbine units go on line on Friday.

HydroWorld.com reported that Andritz had been awarded the contract to supply the turbines, generators and other equipment in 2014.

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.

The project is located on a section of the Cuanza (also spelled Kwanza) River between the existing Cambambe and Capanda complexes, and is part of a continuing effort by the government to increase the country’s hydroelectric capacity.

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Michael Harris formerly was Editor for HydroWorld.com.

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