Electricity in Angola

Electricity in Angola
Electricity in Angola
Table 3 shows a breakdown of capacity between the different grids and the isolated systems in Angola, at the end of 2011 based on figure from MINEA. This shows that the northern system had by far the largest installed capacity, with a nominal capacity of 1,075MW and an available capacity of 695MW. However when the capacity of Capanda is removed, the nominal capacity is 555MW but the available capacity only 175MW. The central region has a nominal capacity of 126MW while that in the southern region is 102MW and the installed capacity around Cabinda is 70MW. In each case the available capacity is barely more than half the nominal. The situation is similar with the isolated systems (MINEA notes 12 isolated systems) where the nominal capacity is 64MW while the available capacity is 39MW.
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Angola was devastated by a 25 year civil war which finally ended in 2002, but left much of the national infrastructure including the electricity system in ruins. Of the country’s three independent grids the central was the most heavily damaged while the northern, serving the capital Luanda was the least damaged. Following the end of the civil war and the establishment of a democratically based system of government, the Ministry of Energy and Water has started to rebuild the electricity infrastructure but progress has been slow. While one new hydropower plant, Capanda, has been brought into service and added 520MW to the northern system, only around half of the remaining installed capacity is operational. The country has an urgent need to both rehabilitate damaged power plants where they can be repaired and to build new capacity. It also needs to dramatically expand the reach of the existing grid system and too interconnect the existing grids. Currently less than 30% of the population have access to electric power. Angola has large oil reserves and the income from these gives the country the opportunity to invest and rebuild. It also has abundant hydropower resources that could be easily exploited. However the country will not be able to fund all this expansion alone. The government has begun to restructure the centralised, state-controlled power industry but progress has been slow. Meanwhile tariffs remain heavily subsidised. To attract international investors, the government will need to overhaul the tariff system, to enable them to meet the cost of production, and it will need to offer a transparent industry structure into which private operators can sit comfortably. The county has come a long way in the decade since the war ended, but it still has a long way to go.

The economy of Angola is reliant almost exclusively on oil which has grown in importance over the last two decades and accounts for around 85% of GDP. In 2011 oil exports accounted for 98% of government revenues. The country joined the Organisation of Oil Exporting Countries (OPEC) in 2007. Meanwhile diamond exports contribute a further 5%. GDP in 2012 was $114.2bn, making Angola the third largest economy in Africa, after South Africa and Egypt. The high value of oil during the first decade of the twenty-first century and concurrent expansion of the oil industry led to average GDP growth of 15% between 2004 and 2008. Growth has slowed since then but was estimated at 8.4% in 2012. In August 2012 the government announced plans for a $5bn sovereign wealth fund.

This report is a Country Profile, covering:
  • Power generation capacity by fuel input
  • Electricity networks
  • Current power market trends
  • Generation growth
  • Investment Opportunities
  • Future project plans


  • An overview of the electricity market in Angola.
  • Power supply data covering production, imports and exports and the main production sources.
  • Power demand data by market sector and tariff data.
  • An overview of the structure of the electricity sector with government and private sector companies as well as the regulatory status.
  • Power demand forecasts and the development of the power sector to meet expected growth.
  • Transmission system expansion plans.

Key Findings of the Report

  • Proven oil reserves in Angola were estimated to be 15bn barrels (bbls) in 2013.
  • Angola is a member of the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP), but is not connected into the SAPP grid.
  • The largest of the grid systems is the northern grid, which includes the capital, Luanda.
  • The northern grid includes the country's only 400kW transmission line, which carries power from the hydropower plant at Capanda to the capital, Luanda.
  • Access to electricity is probably under 30% of the population and in rural areas it is much lower.

Key Questions Answered

  • How does Angola generate its electricity?
  • What is the status of the national electricity market?
  • What are the key developments in electricity infrastructure?
  • Who are the key players in market?
  • What are the future prospects for investment in Angola?

Date Published / Pages / Format

December, 2013 / 29 pages / PDF