Laúca sets milestone as Angola’s largest hydro project

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Laúca Hydropower Plant is about to become the largest hydropower plant in Angola, as the newly commissioned third power generation group brings the current installed power capacity to over 1,000MW.

With these three generation groups in full operation, out of a total of six, Laúca surpasses the installed capacity of the Capanda (520 MW) and Cambambe (960 MW) hydropower plants.

When the sixth generator set – being currently assembled – comes into operation, Laúca will reach an installed capacity of 2,070 MW, becoming one of the largest hydropower plants in Southern Africa, alongside the Cahora Bassa Hydropower plant, in Mozambique.

Energy supply capacity

As it produces clean and renewable energy and contributes to the stability of the national electricity system, the Laúca Hydropower Plant is simultaneously filling the largest reservoir in the country. It is forecasted the reservoir will reach its maximum level by the end of April, ensuring – by a fair safety margin – an energy supply capacity for the next dry season scheduled to occur in the second half of the year.

The construction of the Laúca Hydropower Plant is a project of the Government of Angola, under the responsibility of the Ministry of Energy and Water – Minea and supervised by the Office of the Use of Medium Kwanza – Gamek.

Odebrecht, the company responsible for the engineering, procurement and construction services, including the supply, assembly and commissioning of all electromechanical equipment, carries out the project. To export energy to the main consumer centres, the scope of the project also includes the execution of 750kms of energy transmission lines and the construction and expansion of nine switchyards.

Job creation

Angolan nationals make up 95% of the work force, and the project has already created more than 13,000 direct jobs. Under Odebrecht´s guidance, the project has also intensified biodiversity preservation and the rescue of local fauna and flora. These activities began in March 2017, at the start of the reservoir impoundment, in addition to the water quality monitoring programme of the Kwanza river.

In parallel, the Laúca Hydropower Plant project has developed social programmes with the surrounding communities, focusing on education and on job training. Small enterprises were then established in the communities, organised in agricultural production units of flour, bread and soap. In all, more than 300 families benefit from income-generating programmes.