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Angola developing national transmission and distribution power network

Angola remains dependent on crude oil exports to make up the majority of government revenues. (Image source: AOP)

A webinar, hosted by Africa Oil &Power (AOP), and the US-Angola Chamber of Commerce, on 25 June addressed how Angola can continue to prioritise its development of national transmission and distribution capacities in the long-term, with a view toward increasing electrification, job creation and economic growth

The Powering Forward: The Pathway to Grid Stability, Increased Capacity and a Diversified Angolan Economy’ webinar explored the long-term and strategic outlook for the Angolan power sector.

By 2025, Angola’s power demand is expected to grow at a substantial rate, with the overall system load reaching 7,200MW – more than four times the current level – closely linked to the country's industrialisation plans

While industry currently accounts for just nine of energy demand, energy-intensive activities such as mining and iron exploration will serve as major drivers of growth, with industry aimed to account for 25 per cent of total consumption by 2025.

“You cannot expand the industrialisation of the country without secure power throughout,” said Maria da Cruz, president and CEO of US-Angola Chamber of Commerce. “The government of Angola has invested in the economy with the Angola Energy 2025 agenda, which is robust and seeks to invest in the energy sector. There is an estimate of around US$23bn that the government would like to invest as part of the Angola Energy 2025 strategy, and it is going to need support from the private sector.”

The Angolan Government has channelled substantial resources over the past decade to improve access to affordable and reliable power for both urban and rural communities.

This is reflected in the Angola Energy 2025 Vision, which aligns with the National Development Plan 2018-2022 and focuses on building up capacity and distribution capacity, supported by new renewables and private sector investment.

“The Angolan government, along with multilateral donors and some bilateral donors, has invested a lot in generation,” said Paul Ghiotto, deputy political-economic chief/energy officer political-economic section, US Embassy Luanda.

“The Ministry’s plan for electrification not only aims to go from 38 per cent to around 60 per cent by 2025, but it also aims to go from around less than three gigawatts (GW) of installed generation to approximately nine GW by the end of the same period. We do not know if we will get to nine GW, but through the development of hydropower in the Kwanza river basin, Angola has a very strong base of generation sufficient to meet future demand, even projected until to 2030. There are also additional opportunities in generation, I would argue in gas-to-power, and particularly renewables in the solar sector.”

In addition to government funding, the country is keen to attract investment from the private sector in its most bankable power projects, specifically in end user distribution.

“Angola already has a clear view of its transmission, generation and distribution sectors, which enables its Power Sector Reform Support Program,” said Frederico Martins Correia, energy, resources and industrials partner, Deloitte.

“The law and regulation has been improved so that the private sector can enter, in addition to the public sector. In terms of distribution, it is quite easy to create a company and be a player, and the government is very keen to create distribution companies locally. In transmission, the vision is to provide more services or exploration and product-sharing contracts, and not to be a player. The vision for the government is to keep transmission as a state-owned part.”

“There are industries here that are still not created, and there are opportunities with different tenders and investments in the energy sector. Another main item is that there is a true commitment by the government of Angola to invest and provide major reforms to attract private investment into the country,” Da Cruz concluded.

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