Angola - Country Commercial Guide
Energy

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data

Last published date: 2021-09-08

Overview

Increasing electric power availability to diversify the economy and meet the increasing energy demand of a growing population is among the Angolan government’s highest stated priorities.  To achieve a targeted 9.9 GW of installed generation capacity and a 60 percent electrification rate by 2025, the government has instituted an ambitious infrastructure plan. 

Angola’s current installed capacity is estimated at 5.6 GW but only 4.5 GW is available.  The country’s current energy mix consists of 68 percent hydropower, 31.3 percent other fossil fuels and 0.7 Hybrid (solar/fossil fuel).  However, the Ministry of Energy and Water (MINEA) expects to reach 6.3 GW of generation capacity once the Soyo combined cycle gas plant (750 MW), and the Laúca hydroelectric project (2.1 GW) come fully online.  Several hydro and solar projects are also being developed and expected to come online over the next two to five years.  For these and future projects, external financing and private project development will be key, especially given current government budget restraints and the economic downturn.  

Current electrification rates are estimated at 42 percent in most cities and less than 10 percent in rural areas.  As a result, both businesses and residents rely heavily on diesel generators for power.  The government’s announcement to reduce government subsidies and the resulting higher fuel and electricity prices over the coming years are expected to create demand for alternative energy solutions. 

Angola holds great potential for renewable energy production.  Mapping studies completed by the Ministry of Energy and Water identified potential for 16.3 GW solar power, 3.9 GW wind power, and 18 GW in hydropower throughout the country.  To address rural demand, the government is pursuing the development of small-scale off-grid projects, using both fossil fuels and renewable technologies (small hydro, solar, wind, and biomass). Angola’s transmission infrastructure is made up of three separate major grid systems (northern, central, and southern), in addition to isolated grids in the east.  The northern grid runs 400kv and 220 kv lines, and covers Luanda, Uige, Bengo, Zaire, Malange, Kwanza Norte, and Kwanza Sul provinces.  The central network includes  220kV lines from Benguela to Huambo and Bie.

The southern grid serves Huila and Namibe and uses 220kv lines. Plans exist to link the grids through a north-central-south backbone and expand the grid from 3,354 km to 16,350 km by 2025.  However, the four  main power production plants - Lauca, Capanda ,Cambambe and Soyo combined cycle  - are interconnected, and are also connected to more than 4  of the transmission lines of 400kV; thus, creating some interconnectivity and redundancy of the three grids.  

Currently, the northern and central backbone  are interconnected, and 10 of the 18 provinces of Angola are part of it, namely: Luanda, Bengo, Uíge, Cuanza Norte, Cuanza Sul, Benguela, Huambo, Bié, Malanje and Zaire.

Angola is currently a non-operating member of the Southern African Power Pool, but plans exist to connect to the pool through Namibia (Baynes Dam).  An MOU was signed in March 2020 between Namibia and Angola for the joint construction of the Baynes Dam hydroelectric plant with an installed capacity of 600 MW.  The power production would be shared 300 MW for each country.   An additional connection in the north of Angola with the Democratic Republic of Congo is also being considered.  The two countries’ grids would connect via the Inga Dam.

A November 2014 Presidential Decree established the unbundling of the power sector, which created three public utilities operating under the Ministry of Energy and Water.  These public utilities include: PRODEL (Empresa Pública de Produção de Electricidade), the national production company; RNT (Empresa Rede Nacional de Transporte de Electricidade), the national transmission company; and ENDE (Empresa Nacional de Distribuição de Electricidade), the national distribution company.  In addition, the purview of GAMEK (Gabinete de Aproveitamento do Médio Kwanza), the utility company responsible for implementing and managing the hydro projects in the Kwanza river, was expanded to include oversight of the development and construction of most major power projects in the country.  

The electric sector restructuring also sought to establish greater autonomy and strengthen the role of the regulator IRSEA (Instituto Regulador dos Serviços de Electricidade e Águas) in providing oversight of sector activities.  IRSEA continues to build technical and financial capacity.  In June 2019 electricity subsidies were cut by 85 percent leading to retail rate hikes of 77 percent.  These rate increases should improve government utility financial viability and create a more sustainable business model for the electricity sector, which will also make the sector more attractive to potential independent power producers.  By 2025, the government is expected to make progress toward achieving cost-reflective tariffs, thus lessening the sector’s reliance on subsidies, improving the financial position of the utilities, and encouraging outside investment into the sector.

Low Voltage

Price (KWh)

% increased

Industry

12,82 Kz/KWh

81%

Domestic Clients

6,41 Kz/KWh

113%

Domestic Clients (Low Income)

2,46 Kz/KWh

No change

 

Medium Voltage (< 30KV)

Price (KWh)

% increased

Industry

9,61 Kz/KWh

87.2%

Commerce and Services

11,54 Kz/KWh

96.2%

 

High Voltage (> 30Kv)

Price (KWh)

% increased

Large Industry

7,31 Kz/KWh

55.5%

The General Electricity Law, approved in December 2015, codified the sector restructuring, and established a legal framework for independent power generation. International development partners are providing technical support to the Angolan government to build capacity and establish a regulatory framework in compliance with the legislation.  Other support activities include the structuring of power purchase agreements with independent power producers (IPPs), and the design of a feed-in-tariff scheme for renewables.  The planned steps toward reform and restructuring are critical to attracting private investment as IPPs are essentially non-existent in Angola.

Power transmission infrastructure in Angola will have to be enhanced to support new production capacity. Many of the current and future generation projects will require the development of new transmission infrastructure.  Commercial and technical losses are significant during distribution.  A considerable number of those consuming electricity are not yet metered, and establishing the required infrastructure is a high priority of the government distribution utility ENDE. 

Current and future major power projects:

Project

Estimated Installed Capacity

Estimated Completion Date and Contractor

Laúca Hydroelectric Dam and transmission lines (supplies Luanda, Huambo, Huíla, Malange, and Kwanza Norte)

 

2070 MW

2021 – currently operating at 95% the last generator is still under construction.

Contractor:  Odebrecht

Soyo Combined Cycle (Phase 1) and high voltage power lines

 

750 MW

2020 

Contractor: China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC)

Solar Power Plants 

 

380 MW 

2022

Contractor: Sun Africa

 

Caculo Cabaça Hydroelectric

2171 MW

TBD – 6.2% of total execution

USD 4.7 billion financed by a Chinese government loan and USD 1.4 billion by Germany for electromechanical equipment. Contractor: China Gezhouba Group Corporation (CGGC) / Niara Holding

 

For more information on projects in the 2025 Government Energy Plan please contact FCS Angola.

U.S.-based power product and solutions companies active in Angola include GE, Cummins, Caterpillar, and Westinghouse Turbines, among others.  In addition, European companies (Germany, Portugal) supply equipment to the energy sector.  Portuguese, Brazilian, and Chinese construction companies generally lead in project construction.  

Electric power-related equipment ranks among the top U.S. export categories to Angola.  In 2020, the (HTS 8411) was valued at USD 26.3 million.

Power Africa:  Power Africa is a market-driven, U.S. Government-led public-private partnership with the goal of doubling access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa.  It also serves as a one-stop shop for private sector entities seeking tools and resources to facilitate doing business in Africa’s power sector.  In 2016, the Electrify Africa Act unanimously passed both houses of the U.S. Congress and was signed into law.  The law launched Power Africa and established two goals that have been subsequently updated:  to add 30,000 MW of generation capacity, and to expand electricity access to 60 million people in sub-Saharan Africa by 2030.  In bringing together more than 150 of the world’s top companies, development institutions, and financial entities, Power Africa employs a transaction-centered approach to address directly the key constraints to project development and investment in the power sector.  Power Africa interventions aim to de-risk investments and accelerate financial close — from facilitating project bankability with financing and risk mitigation, to providing technical and transaction support, to engaging with host-government counterparts.  To learn more see Power Africa toolbox offered by Power Africa.

Support to Angola:  In Angola, Power Africa, through its Southern African Energy Program (SAEP), has provided technical assistance to support the Ministry of Energy and Water in its efforts to improve the regulatory and enabling environment and to structure projects, especially those with potential for private sector participation.  As part of its technical support, SAEP has identified five key constraints on investment: 1. inefficient energy regulation, planning and procurement; 2. low commercial viability of public energy companies; 3. limitations on regional harmonization and cross-border trade in electricity; 4. lack of clean and renewable energy technologies and practices and low energy efficiency; and 5. weak institutional and human resource capacity for energy sector management. 

In a major development in 2020, Power Africa began assisting the Government of Angola (GRA) to implement a USD 530 million power sector finance program from the African Development Bank (AfDB). The AfDB program, Power Africa’s first major project in Angola, will connect Angola’s three regional power grids into a national power grid for the first time through a 343-kilometer transmission line and bring low-cost hydropower from the northern Kwanza River basin to southern provinces.  The program will also assist the Angolan government (GRA) to install 1.2 million prepaid meters with the goal of increasing Angolans’ access to electricity from its current estimated 42 percent in most cities and less than 10 percent in rural areas to 50 percent by 2022.  

With Power Africa’s guidance, in late June 2020 the GRA released the first of multiple project tenders for the transmission line and associated citizen resettlement plan.  The tenders, the first of many to be released by the GRA and AfDB through 2024, could present new opportunities for U.S. companies to provide power sector goods and services in Angola, particularly in power transmission and distribution, while expanding Angolans’ access to electricity. 

Energy equipment and technologies

2017

2018

2019 

2020

Total Local Production

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Total Exports

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Total Imports (based on HS codes , 8411, 8503 and 8537)

 

725.5

690

633.5

287.9

Imports from the US (based on HS codes 8411, , 8503 and 8537)

 

46.7

40

40.1

29.1

Total Market Size

430.9

349.7

358.8

N/A

Exchange Rates

166

245

365

520

(total market size = (total local production + imports) - exports)
 Units: USD millions
 Source: United States International Trade Commission and Global Trade Atlas.   

Leading Sub-Sectors

Generation

  • Equipment for use in small scale hydroelectric power projectsDiesel and gas turbine generators 
  • Renewable energy solutions: Solar; Biomass; Wind; small hydro
  • Utility scale central dispatch center for energy load management
  • Minigrids complete solutions
  • Transmission
  • Substations
  • Electric Transmission Lines
  • Technologies to support high voltage transmission 
  • DistributionPre-paid Meters 
  • Low voltage distribution linesTechnologies to support distribution to end consumers such as supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA)Services
  • Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) services specific to electric power generation.
  • Maintenance, repair and operation services

Opportunities

External financing is key to the continuation of priority government energy projects and imports of essential equipment into Angola especially during the current government budget tightening and economic downturn.  The Angolan government budget dedicated to the electricity production, transmission and distribution sectors decreased to USD 482 million in 2021 (4.63 percent of the total national budget expenses) from USD 527.3 million in 2020.  Just 10 percent of Angola’s rural areas have electricity. In this past year the Angolan Government showed a greater appetite for projects that can bring a complete solution. These complete solutions (mini-grid solutions) would be very suitable for the eastern side of country as compared to the very expensive transmission line projects.

Generation

Construction of the major government hydropower projects, Cambambe expansion (700 MW) and Lauca (2070 MW) have been largely completed.  Power generation from the Cambambe and Lauca plants began in 2017 and 2018 respectively.  The Brazilian firm Odebrecht is the lead contractor using German supplied turbines and finance.  Another major hydropower project, Caculo Cabaça, supported by Chinese financing,  has yet to be completed.  Beyond these major hydro projects, the Ministry of Energy and Water identified 100 locations suitable to produce 600 MW from mini hydro in its 2025 Angola Energy Strategy.  Strong potential exists in Angola for mini hydro (<10 MW) to take advantage of Angola’s vast river network.  One example is the expansion of the mini hydro plant of Matala, in Huíla province, from 27 MW to 40.8 MW.  

In addition, the Soyo I combined cycle plant (750 MW), which was financed by the Chinese government and built by China Machinery Engineering Corporation is currently generating 500MW.  GE supplied the turbines for the plant.  Plans are underway for a second Soyo combined cycle plant (500 MW).   The Angolan government hopes that the Natural Gas Commercialization Law, which was passed in May 2018, will attract private investment for natural gas production to supply the future expanded Soyo plant.  Increased natural gas availability and infrastructure construction should encourage a shift towards energy production equipment for natural gas. 

Although the government committed to the production of 200 MW of renewable energies in the Angola 2025 Plan, the National Development Plan 2018-2022, raised the renewable production goal to 700  MW.  As a result, the government approved three solar projects, one of which is expected to become one of the largest in the region. This includes a 380 MW solar project developed by a U.S. company and expected to be completed over the next four years.  The Italian company ENI signed a concession agreement with the government for the construction of a 50 MW solar plant in Namibe province, in southwestern Angola.  The solar power plant will be constructed by Solenova, a joint venture between ENI and Angolan state-owned oil producer Sonangol.  The Angolan government also approved a memorandum of understanding (MOU), between the Ministry of Energy and Water and a consortium, which includes Total Eren and Angola Environment Technology, Limited.  As part of the MOU, the consortium will conduct a feasibility study for the development of a 30 – 100 MW photovoltaic plant to be built in Lubango, Huíla Province. 

In addition, the 2025 plan includes a goal of reaching 500 MW of energy production through biomass from forestry, agriculture, livestock and solid waste sources.   Outside of the major Biocom sugar production project that would contribute 100 MW toward the government’s 2025 target, there has been little progress in other areas of biomass project development.  Renewables, excluding large hydro, are expected to represent about 8 percent of total installed capacity by 2025.

The execution of bankable Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs or “off-take agreements”), with experienced private sector developers, will be a key step toward advancing the Angolan government’s power generation goals, particularly in renewable energy.  Additionally, government support and other credit enhancements to mitigate political, off-taker, foreign currency, and other risks will be essential for the successful implementation of projects led by the private sector.  

Electric power-related equipment ranks among the top U.S. export categories to Angola and this trend is likely to continue as Angola strives to reach its power production targets.  The Angolan government considers maintenance as essential to continued operations of thermal power production capacity, with the result that there is a high demand for related equipment and services.   Assuming government prioritization of appropriate budget and financing resources for maintenance, procurement of such equipment and services may also be an opportunity for U.S. companies.  

Transmission

Transmission infrastructure is key to delivering increased new power production capacity to population centers.   The U.S. government is actively supporting technical assistance designed to advance transmission project development in Angola.   A 2015 feasibility study financed by the U.S. Trade and Development Agency on electrical distribution modernization focused on the interconnection of Angola’s Luanda South grid with Namibia in preparation for future hydroelectric resources from the future Baynes dam project under development on the Cunene River.   In addition, the U.S. Department of State provided the Angolan Government with a technical and economic feasibility study to support the national transmission company RNT to advance the development of a high-voltage transmission backbone that will interconnect the three major transmission networks in Angola.  The interconnected transmission backbone will likely consist of 400kV transmission lines and will connect the northern, central, and southern transmission networks.  The study was completed in 2017 by the U.S. company, Black and Veatch.

Currently, Angola has no major import or export capability for electricity.  The planned interconnection with Namibia via the Baynes hydro power plant (600 MW) would link Angola to the Southern African Power Pool.  Discussions continue with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on the expansion of the Inga hydroelectric dam that would provide a connection to the Central Africa Power Pool. 

Opportunities for U.S. transmission-related equipment and solutions focus on the significant requirements for transmission infrastructure to support the rapidly expanding power generation capacity throughout the country, as well as upgrades of some older lines and substations devastated by the civil war.  The Angolan government is also seeking financing for energy dispatch centers to monitor production, transmission, and distribution by controlling inflows and outflows of electricity throughout the system. 

The African Development Bank (AFDB) approved a USD 500 million line of credit for energy infrastructure in Angola.  This includes the construction of a 400 km transmission line and a new 400/220/60 kV- 2 x 450 MVA substation in Lubango, Huila Province, upgrades to an existing substation in Huambo and the installation of a SCADA control system.  The tenders for these projects closed on August 10th, 2020.   

Distribution

The national distribution company ENDE faces high technical and commercial loss rates estimated as high as 35 percent.  The high rate of loss is due to illegal connections, non-payment and non-enforcement of payment requirements, and the fact that approximately 80 percent of electricity customers are un-metered.  Low tariffs and a heavy debt burden from predecessor companies also pose a challenge.  To improve ENDE’s operations and revenues, in 2015 the company installed 1,500 smart electric meters in a pilot with equipment from U.S. companies Itron and Landis & Gyre.  ENDE has plans to implement a broader smart meter program with 1.5 million units in key urban locations and increase its enforcement to eliminate illegal connections.  ENDE initially considered ZTE (China) and Energitec (India) to supply the meters with modest local assembly planned, but the project is currently on hold.  ENDE continues to seek additional international suppliers. 

Resources

  • Ministry of Energy and Water (MINEA) -  http://www.minea.gv.ao/   
  • Regulatory Institute of Electricity Sector (IRSE) 
  • Power Africa  
  • United States International Trade Commission  
  • Global Trade Atlas 
  • Ministry of Energy and Water (MINEA) -
  • Medio Kwanza Exploitation Office - (GAMEK)
  • Electricity Sector Transformation Program (PTSE)
  • Power Africa
  • United States International Trade Commission
  • Global Trade Atlas

For information contact:

Mauro Fonseca, Commercial Assistant

U.S. Commercial Service Angola 

Mauro.fonseca@trade.gov

Tel: (+244) 222 641 253

Mob: (+244) 929 667 036