Third unit of Angola’s 520-MW Capanda begins operation

Angola officials report the first of two units has begun operation in the 260-MW second stage of the 520-MW Capanda hydroelectric project.

Capanda’s first two 130-MW turbine-generators were inaugurated in the project’s first stage in 2005 on the Kwanza River. The Angolense newspaper reported April 23 that a third 130-MW unit began operation after a week of testing. The final unit is expected to go on line in July as scheduled, completing Capanda’s second stage of construction. (HNN 3/8/07)

Under a US$112 million contract with the Angola Ministry of Energy and Water, a consortium of Russian engineering and construction company Technopromexport and builder Norberto Odebrecht of Brazil are designing, delivering, and installing the two additional 130-MW units.

The second stage includes new transmission lines to reinforce Angola’s grid system. The US$218 million project will supply additional power, via the new Capanda-Lucala-Luanda transmission line, to help meet demand that has been rising since the country achieved peace in 2002. Two other lines, Capanda-Ndalatando and Cambambe-Luanda, also are being built with funding from China.

The project has a 114-meter-tall dam and 200-square-kilometer reservoir located 400 kilometers southeast of Luanda. Its reservoir also is to regulate river flow, increasing output of the 180-MW Cambambe project downstream.

Minister: Angola committed to hydro development

Angolan officials reportedly are studying construction of another six hydro projects on the Kwanza, equal to or larger than Capanda.

Angola’s minister of Energy and Waters, Botelho de Vasconcelos, told an �Energy in Africa� conference that Angola is committed to optimization of its hydroelectric potential. Vasconcelos told the conference, in Hamburg, Germany, April 20, that his government plans to invest US$2 billion in the electric sector to boost installed capacity.

In remarks carried by government-owned Angola Press, the minister said Angola is using only 1,200 MW of its 15,000 MW of hydro potential. He said the country needs another 2,000 MW to supply mining, copper, aluminum, diamond, and oil refining industries.

With double-digit growth rates, Vasconcelos said Angola must secure private foreign capital to invest in the sector. He said the government approved a legislative package that encourages and protects the participation of national or foreign capital.

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