Norway’s Norsk Hydro is considering building a 600,000-ton aluminum smelter and a 1,635-MW hydroelectric project in Angola as part of a strategy to grow in countries with cheap energy.
The Norwegian energy and aluminum group said September 29 it is considering the project with Angolan authorities but no deal had been made on ownership of such a plant.
“The new concept which Hydro is now considering in cooperation with Angolan authorities consists of a hydropower facility with a capacity of 1,635 MW and an aluminum works with an annual capacity of 600,000 tons of primary metal,” Norsk Hydro ASA said in a statement.
Angolan news agency Angpop quoted Knud Schlosser, Norsk Hydro business development director for Southern Africa, saying the firm plans to invest US$5 billion in the combined project, if the deal goes through. Schlosser said the hydroelectric project would be built in the Nhangue region of Malanje Province, while the smelter, which would consume 1,000 MW of the hydro plant output, would be built at Baia Farta in Benguela Province.
Norsk Hydro said it is discussing with Angolan authorities entering the next phase of reviews and possibly launching a feasibility study. Angpop reported Schlosser said the firm had already signed a memorandum of understanding with the government and that negotiations were under way aimed at the eventual signing of a final agreement.
“As part of its business development, Hydro is investigating opportunities in several countries where energy is available at competitive prices,” the company said.
Angola utility head: Lift power price cap
Chairman Joao Baptista Borges Borges of Luanda’s state electricity supplier EDEL said September 29 that Angola needs to ease state controls on electricity prices to attract private investments in power supply. He said the biggest difficulty in trying to attract investments in power generation is the low price of electricity.
Angola’s infrastructure, including its electricity network, is still weak after 27 years of civil war that ended in 2002. Borges said only 25 percent of residents of Luanda, a city of more than 4 million, had regular power. He said 75 percent of Angola’s electricity production is consumed in the capital.
The government subsidizes electricity supplies in Luanda, so that instead of paying the full cost of 10 cents per kWh, EDEL’s clients only pay 3 cents per kWh and many electricity users do not pay at all.
Borges said 560-MW Capanda dam, 400 kilometers north of Luanda, is to be completed in April 2007. Officials inaugurated the first 260-MW stage of the project on the Kwanza River in 2005. A transmission line being built by a Chinese company is scheduled for completion at the same time.