Work on building the Laúca hydroelectric complex in Angola’s Malanje province should be completed in June 2017, when the first turbine begins operating to produce 334 megawatts of electric power, said the project’s director, Elias Estêvão.
Estêvão told Angop news agency that the final phase of building the water intake and the dam itself was now under way, “whereby all construction work should be finished by the end of the year so the reservoir can start to be filled in January 2017.”
Work on assembling the generator groups is halfway done, he said, adding that section A of the powerline linking the Laúca/Capanda and Capanda/Cambambe substations was also under way, along with the line that will feed Luanda province via Cambambe in Cuanza Norte province.
The Laúca dam will have a total generation capacity of 2,071 megawatts. The reservoir will cover a total area of 24,000 hectares, with a flooded area of 188 square kilometres, and hold 6 billion cubic metres of water. The dam wall is 135 metres high, equivalent to a 44-storey building.
Construction of the dam is being overseen by Odebrecht Infraestrutura – África, Emirados Árabes e Portugal, a subsidiary of Brazil’s Odebrecht group. This public works project is estimated to cost more than US$4.3 billion.
The system for transporting and connecting electric power produced by the Laúca Dam was also awarded to Odebrecht in a contract worth US$814 million. Some of that work has been subcontracted to Portuguese-origin companies such as Somague Angola, Teixeira Duarte, Epos, Tecnasol and Ibergru.