THE FIRST PHASE OF ANGOLA’S Capanda hydroelectric project, which involves the installation of 2x130MW is now complete, with both units now generating energy.
The first turbine, which is supplying the country’s capital Luanda, came on line last December. Testing of the second was completed this May and started supplying power to Luanda in early June. The second phase will bring the total power generating capacity of the dam to 520MW, surpassing the whole of Angola’s current hydroelectric capacity.
Capanda dam, the largest ever civil construction project in Angola, lies in the middle of the Kwanza river, on the border between Kwanza Norte and the province of Malange. Work at Capanda began in 1986 with a state investment of US$750M paid in oil supplies to foreign companies; to date, an estimated US$4B has been invested in the project. The scheme is run by GAMEK, a state-owned company, with construction work carried out by Brazilian and Russian companies.
According to GAMEK’s original schedule, Capanda was supposed to start generating power in December 1993 but was held up by civil war. Construction was restarted only in January 2000.
Angola aims to build seven more hydroelectric dams along the Kwanza river which will generate a total of 5000MW.