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Home The River Basin People and the River Governance Resource Management
Resource Management
Water Demand
Water Infrastructure
 Dams and Associated Infrastructure
 The Kunene River Scheme
Infrastructure for Hydropower in Angola
 Infrastructure for Water Supply
 Water Security
 Water Storage & Flow Control
 Bulk Transfer Schemes
 Groundwater Services & Infrastructure
 Irrigation Infrastructure
 Operation and Maintenance of Infrastructure
 Rehabilitation and Future Development
 Wastewater Infrastructure
The Value of Water
Resource Monitoring
Research & Development



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Infrastructure for Hydropower in Angola  

In addition to the Hydroelectric Power Generation at Gove Dam and Calueque Dam further infrastructure for electricity generation in Angola can be found on the Kunene and more is planned for the future.

Existing hydroelectric power generation can currently be found at Matala.

The Matala Dam

The Matala dam lies around 225 km downstream from the Gove dam at the confluence of the Que river and the Kunene, on the edge of the Upper Kunene. The dam was the first major structure to be completed in the basin in 1954, and was renovated in 2001 with further work being carried out in 2010. It has a storage capacity of 60 Mm³ with a mean surface area of 41 km². The scheme at Matala consists of a weir of over 700 m in length with movable gates, an inlet to the generators, an outlet and electrical mechanical equipment, appliances and powerlines. The functions of the Matala dam are to:

  • Generate hydroelectric power;
  • Store water for domestic water supply and local development; and
  • Provide water for irrigation, with up to 10 000 ha of land available for irrigation, currently in need of rehabilitation.
Water flowing over the gates of the Matala weir.
Source: Vogel 2010
( click to enlarge )

The hydroelectric plant at Matala is the main source of electricity in southwest Angola. It supplies electricity to the cities of Lubango, Namibe and Tombwa, with an originally planned capacity to generate 39 MW. This capacity was never reached, but work on the power plant in 2010 aims to ensure a production capacity of 40 MW.

There are also plans to increase hydroelectricity generation by building dams in the Upper Kunene between the Gove dam and Matala.

These hydropower stations planned for Jamba Ia Mina, 60 km upstream from Matala, will have a potential installed capacity of 126 MW, whilst the station at Jamba Ia Oma has a planned potential of 50 MW.

Smaller Hydropower Installations

Across the basin, particularly in the Upper and Middle Kunene, there is significant potential for smaller hydropower installations. One such possibility is at the Gandjelas dam, built for irrigation purposes, where there are plans to fit the existing dam with a 2 MW electricity production capacity.

The Cuando dam in the very upper reaches of the catchment is fitted with a mini hydropower plant with four 250 kW turbines. This plant was non-functional for a long period of time bMt has recently been rehabilitated. The dam on the Cuando has a total height of around 7 m (the location of the dam can be seen on the Map of Infrastructure). Whilst being relatively small, the power generated here is important for Huambo as it is used for the pumps for a large part of the city's piped water supply.

Reservoir of Matala dam.
Source: Amakali 2009
( click to enlarge )




Explore the sub-basins of the Kunene River

Video Interviews about the integrated and transboundary management of the Kunene River basin

View information on the dams and weirs of the Kunene Basin

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