Country Listing

Angola Table of Contents


Electric Power

Angola is especially well endowed with potential sources for the production of electricity, both hydroelectric (estimated in 1986 at 7,710 megawatts potential capacity) and thermal (using locally produced oil). By 1986, however, a total of only 367 megawatts of generating capacity existed at the country's main power stations. Power stations on four rivers traditionally supplied most of the electricity consumed in the main urban areas: the Cambambe station on the Cuanza River and the Mabubas station on the Dande River provided electricity to the capital and the north, the Biópio and Lomaum stations on the Catumbela River supplied cities in the central provinces, and the Matala station on the Cunene River was the main source of power in the south. The Ruacaná station, also on the Cunene River near the border with Namibia, was under South African control during much of the 1980s. In addition, thermal stations in Luanda, Namibe, Cabinda, Huambo, Biópio, Uíge, and Lubango supplied power. However, these regional power systems were not connected. Furthermore, there were separate local grids in Cabinda and in the diamond-mining area of Lunda Norte Province.

Repairs were needed on the electrical system because of deteriorating equipment and the sabotage of stations and distribution lines. The central system has been hit repeatedly by UNITA, which in the 1980s put the Lomaum station and a substation at Alto Catumbela out of commission. Many of the power lines in the central area and in the northwest have also been cut by UNITA. Therefore, many businesses have installed their own generators and produce approximately 20 percent of the total electricity generated in Angola. In the late 1980s, the government was going ahead with plans to build a 520-megawatt hydroelectric station on the Cuanza River at Capanda to augment the northern system. The government had also reached an agreement with Brazil and the Soviet Union for financial and technical assistance in building the station for an estimated US$900 million.

Data as of February 1989