Angola recommissions 34MW Luachimo hydroelectric power station with help from China

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  • Angola recently inaugurated the Luachimo hydroelectric power station, after bringing the power station back into service. 
  • The hydroelectric power station was originally commissioned in 1953 when Angola was still a Portuguese colony. 
  • The rehabilitation of the hydroelectric scheme required an investment of $212 million, financed with the support of the Chinese government.

The China Gezhouba Group Corporation, a subsidiary of China Energy Engineering Corporation (Energy China) was contracted to rehabilitate the plant and to quadruple its generation capacity. The ceremony to relaunch the hydroelectric power station took place on 17 May 2024 in Luachimo, a municipality on the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Work on the project commenced in 2017, and included repairs to the hydro-mechanical equipment, the construction of a new water diversion canal, the installation of four new turbines, each with a generating capacity of 8.5 MW, the construction of a new 60 kV substation and the addition of transmission and distribution networks. The capacity of the Luachimo power station was increased from 8.8 MW to 34 MW.

The installation will effectively reduce the discrepancy between electricity supply and demand in key towns in the province of North Luanda, particularly the capital Dundo, which has a population of almost 200,000. In addition, the rehabilitated power station will benefit “more than 30 industrial companies, which is of great importance for local economic and social development.

China Energy is also currently building Angola’s largest dam. The mega reservoir on the Kwanza River will be equipped with a 2,172 MW hydroelectric power station. The Chinese-built Caculo-Cabaca Hydropower Station will be the largest in Angola and third largest in Africa on completion and is expected to begin operations in 2026.

The Chinese-built Caculo-Cabaca Hydropower Station in Angola. Image credit: China Energy

Author: Bryan Groenendaal


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