September 23, 2010 / 10:36 AM / in 7 years

Angola eyes hydropower expansion potential

LUANDA (Reuters) - Angola currently only uses a fraction of its hydropower potential but the African nation is prepared to invest billions of dollars in coming years to rebuild dams destroyed by a civil war that ended in 2002.

<p>Wind mills are seen at the Tazigou wind power station in Fuxin, Liaoning province November 22, 2009. REUTERS/Stringer</p>

Secretary of State for Energy Joao Borges said Angola’s powerful rivers had the potential to generate 18 gigawatts of energy but his country was currently only producing 4.4 percent of that capacity.

“The rest of the water is lost to the sea, without any use,” state-owned news agency Angop cite-d Borges as saying on Thursday.

He said his government plans to rebuild dams destroyed by Angola’s three-decade long civil war in a bid to take advantage of the country’s hydropower capacity.

Earlier this month, Minister of State Carlos Feijo said his government would invest $18 billion until 2016 to overhaul dams and power grids in the country’s biggest power sector investment to date.

Angola, which rivals Nigeria as Africa’s biggest oil producer, will finance this investment with money from a soon-to-be-established oil fund, Feijo said at the Sept 13 news conference.

The Angolan government has also said it plans to open tenders for foreign and local Angolan companies to rebuild the dams.

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