In a bid to offset the power deficit in the Lunda Sul region, construction will begin in October on a 26 MW photovoltaic power plant located in Saurimo.
Announced by Angola’s Secretary of State for Energy, António Belsa da Costa, the plant is estimated to take 17 months to complete and is part of the Ministry of Energy and Water’s program to build seven solar plants in seven provinces throughout the country, at an estimated cost of nearly $600 million.
According to the Provincial Office of Infrastructure and Technical Services of Lunda Sul, the province in which Saurimo is located, the capital city requires 70 MW of power to improve electricity access by consumers and meet the growing economic and industrial needs of the region.
While the province holds a current capacity of 26 MW, generated by the Chicapa hydroelectric dam, it has not been enough to meet the power demand of its population numbered at approximately half a million.
Meanwhile, an interconnection project from the northern system (Malange) to the eastern system (Lunda Norte, Moxico and Lunda Sul) is still awaiting funding. The project is also considered a priority for the Ministry of Energy and Water and represents a 400 kv transmission line and 220 MW substation.