Study proposes support of grid, hydro work in Southern Africa

A consultant study of funding opportunities in the Southern Africa Power Pool region proposes that the United States support projects to improve transmission and distribution in Angola and Mozambique, with related work involving hydropower.

Econergy International Corp. of the United States performed the definitional mission for the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (TDA), its second such report, recommending TDA consider supporting a list of projects dominated by thermal generation and electricity system work.

However, the report included recommendations for immediate support of the Angola and Mozambique projects, with hydropower aspects, and also suggested longer-term study of other hydropower projects in sub-Saharan Africa.

Angola distribution rehab, hydro pre-feasibility studies

�Angola boasts significant hydroelectric potential estimated by some accounts as the most abundant in southern Africa,� the report said. �While approximately 60 percent of the country’s electricity generation is derived from hydro facilities, this represents approximately only 3 percent of the total hydro generation potential.�

Furthermore, the report said, the proposed Western Power Corridor (Westcor) transmission project of Angola, South Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Namibia, and Botswana would link new power projects in Angola’s Cuanza (or Kwanza) River Basin, in addition to the DRC’s proposed giant Inga hydroelectric complex on the Congo River. (HNN 11/17/06) The 560-MW Capanda Dam is to be completed in April 2007 on the Cuanza, 400 kilometers north of Luanda, Angola. (HNN 10/2/06) Officials inaugurated the first 260-MW stage of the project in 2005.

The report recommended TDA support Angola’s distribution system rehabilitation and hydropower pre-feasibility studies. It said, in the near term, TDA should support Angola’s Direccao Nacional de Energia to rehabilitate the distribution system. Then, it said, it is likely TDA could play a role in large-scale infrastructure projects.

In addition to distribution infrastructure assessment, the report proposed that a feasibility study consultant collect information, make site visits, and draft development recommendations for proposed hydro projects. It proposed a technical assistance program to overhaul the distribution systems of the cities of Cuchi and Luena and to prepare pre-feasibility studies of the 1.2-MW Kaquima and 2.7-MW Chafinda hydro projects proposed nearby.

The report said, in the longer term, TDA should consider funding the 360-MW Baynes hydroelectric project proposed for the Cunene River on the border between Angola and Namibia and the 6,000-MW Middle Cuanza project on the Cuanza in Angola. Another development objective of Angola is the 520-MW Cambambe 2 hydro project, anticipated to be completed in 2011 for US$224 million, it said.

Mozambique interconnection study, supporting new hydro

In Mozambique, the report proposes support of the Center-South Interconnection, a 400-kilovolt trunk line, in addition to the Hidroelectrica Cahora Bassa trunk line, to connect major generation resources in the center of the country to load centers around the capital, Maputo.

The report said the new line would help carry power from the 2,040-MW Cahora Bassa hydroelectric project (HNN 10/30/06) and �establish a platform for significant new investment in small-scale generation (mostly hydropower) throughout the Zambezi Valley.� The report noted transmission also must be built to carry power from the proposed Cahora Bassa North, with capacity between 800 and 1,200 MW, and the 1,300-MW Mphanda Nkuwa, also on the Zambezi. (HNN 5/17/06)

The report noted TDA already has provided funds for a feasibility study developing the proposed 120-MW Quedas and 60-MW Ocua hydropower projects on the Lurio River. Electricidade de Mozambique awarded a contract to Black &Veatch International of the United States to perform the study (HNN 10/23/06)

The TDA definitional mission report on Southern African Power Pool II Opportunities, No. 06-C-11-060, contains additional details on hydropower development prospects. It may be obtained, free of charge, by calling the U.S. Trade and Development Agency library in Washington at (1) 703-875-4357.

For other information, contact Econergy International Corp., 1925 K St., N.W., Suite 230, Washington, DC 20006 USA; (1) 202-822-4980; Fax: (1) 202-822-4986; Internet: www.econergy.com.

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