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Chinese firm to construct major hydropower plant in Angola

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Angola has launched the construction of a massive hydropower plant which it says will help solve the power shortage in the country.

President Jose Eduardo dos Santos officially inaugurated the construction of the Caculo Cabaca Hydropowerplant in Dondo, Angola, terming the project a major step forward in increasing employment of the country.

Addressing the opening ceremony on Friday, Angolan Minister of Energy and Water Resources Joao Baptista Borges said the project, the largest of its kind being built in the country, is crucial to the economic construction of Angola in the future.

“It will solve the power shortage in Angola and play an active role in increasing employment of the country,” he said, adding that the Angola government felt grateful to the Chinese government and Chinese enterprises for their support to the development of Angola.

Read More:Botswana mulls mega solar power plant to curb power deficit

Located at the North Kwanza province, the hydropower project will be constructed by China Gezhouba Group Co., Ltd (CGGC).

According to Ren Jianguo, deputy general manager of CGGC, the group will turn Caculo Cabaca Hydropower Project into a high-quality project, making contribution t Angola’s energy and power, infrastructure improvement, social and economic development, and people’s livelihood improvement.

Chinese firm contracted to build massive hydropower plant in Angola
Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos

Largest hydropower plant

Angola Caculo Cabaca Hydropower plant is currently the largest hydropower station to be constructed by a Chinese company in Africa, Ren said, adding that upon completion, the project is expected to meet more than 50 percent of the country’s electricity needs

The hydropower plant has a total contractual value of 4.5 billion U.S. dollars and has a planned installed capacity of 2,172 megawatts. The project will be completed within 80 months, and during the peak construction period nearly 10,000 jobs are expected to be provided for the locals.

According to the contract, CGGC will also be responsible for the four-year operation and maintenance of the power plant and for training a group of professional power plant operation management and technical personnel for Angola.

Cui Aimin, Chinese Ambassador to Angola, said that China is Angola’s largest trading partner while Angola is China’s second largest trading partner in Africa as well as the largest source country of imports in Africa.

Read more:China-Africa Relations: At a Crossroads?

To date, Angola is one of the countries in Africa to have the most extensive cooperation with China in investment and financing as well as infrastructure construction. China has cumulatively invested close to 50 billion U.S. dollars in the country, covering various fields in the infrastructure sector.

Majority of countries in Africa continue to struggle with electricity  problems years after independence. It is one of a major deterrent to industrialization in a continent also struggling with rampant poverty.

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