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“Lauca will be one of the biggest hydroelectric power plants in Africa”
“Lauca will be one of the biggest hydroelectric power plants in Africa” “Lauca will be one of the biggest hydroelectric power plants in Africa”

2014.10.14


Press room - Interviews - “Lauca will be one of the biggest hydroelectric power plants in Africa”

José Augusto de Ávila, Oderbrecht’s engineer for the construction of the future dam and hydroelectric power plant of Lauca speaks to SHAPING about the challenges of the project, as well as what Lauca entails for Angola’s progress and development.




In what context does the Lauca project arise?
Thanks to its oil and mining industry, Angola has been having uninterrupted economic growth for more than a decade. The country needs bigger electricity production capacity to feed its industry and population. This is why new projects have been implemented to build new dams and power plants -or increase the capacity of the one that already exist such as the ones in Cambambe-, comprising a total of seven projects along the Cuanza river.

What is different about Lauca and other construction projects?
Every construction project is unique per se. Here we have faced singularities such as the geographic location which is very far away from any communication network. All the necessary materials for the day-to-day work – except for the aggregates- are transferred from Luanda, more than 200 km away. Moreover, the country’s need for electricity supply has set us very demanding timelines. The first earthmoving works began in June 2012 and by 2017 the power plant needs to be generating 2,000Mw/h, which will make it one of the highest electricity production power plants in Africa.
 
How big is Lauca?
The dam will be 1,100 meters wide and 132 meters high. In order to build it, the course of the river Cuanza has had to be temporarily diverted by drilling two 550 and 450 meter long tunnels with a section of approximately 175 m2. The dam will feed the hydroelectric power plant’s turbines through six 2,000 meter long tunnels with a section of 104 m2 each. These tunnels which are now under construction are being drilled from two fronts, which results in a total of 12 operative blasting fronts at this moment.

What will remain in the region once the construction phase finishes?
At the moment more than 5,000 people are employed in this project, this number will increase to 6,500 once all the different areas participate: construction and excavation, assembly, admin, logistics… Most of the employees, around 93% or 94% of them are local and have had technical and safety training. This is mandatory for all personnel either if they are direct employees of the Company or employed by a partner company. Our motto regarding safety and accidents is “0 Tolerance”.




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