Angola: Distributed Power

Background

Angola is Africa’s second-largest producer of proven natural gas reserves in sub-Saharan Africa and the third-largest economy on the continent, having grown at an extraordinary rate over the last decade. Despite its impressive growth, Angola continues to recover from the damage caused by a 27-year-long civil war and experiences regular and systemic electric power shortages in its burgeoning capital city, Luanda, and across the country.

Challenges

While the government has made notable improvements to its power sector, the damage incurred by the civil war destroyed many of the limited electrical generation, transmission, and distribution networks that existed prior to the conflicts. Currently, Angola relies on three independent electricity systems to power the country as it works toward constructing a national grid. This, coupled with its limited generation capacity, makes much of the country’s electricity supply unstable and Luanda continues to experience frequent blackouts across all areas of its urban environment. Additionally, with the dense population in urban Luanda, available land on which to build power plants is limited.

Solution

Given its cutting-edge fleet and rapid installation capabilities, APR Energy was selected by Angola’s state-owned utility, Empresa Nacional de Electricidade (ENE), to install two large scale, fast-track power plants in highly-populated urban neighborhoods of Luanda for continuous base load operation. APR Energy was contracted initially to install and operate a 40MW turnkey plant located in Morro Bento using diesel power modules, commissioning in November 2012. Upon establishing a track record of relentless execution and building a trusted relationship with the customer, APR Energy was later engaged for an additional 40MW of capacity. Recognising the fuel flexibility, power density, and mobility advantages that aeroderivative turbine technology provides, and wanting the same robust and environmentally friendly technology as used in many permanent power plants, ENE specifically requested a mobile gas turbine plant for the additional 40MW. As part of the turbine plant, APR Energy built three one-million liter tanks to ensure the plant’s continuous operation in the event of fuel delivery delays.

Outcome

APR Energy successfully commissioned its 40MW mobile turbine plant in June 2014, located in the Luanda community of Rocha Pinto, resulting in one of the first-ever mobile turbine projects in sub-Saharan Africa. Pleased with the service provided by APR Energy, ENE also extended the contract for the original 40MW plant in Morro Bento. Together, APR Energy’s plants supply 80MW of electricity to the city, providing power to over 500,000 people and enabling ENE to fill critical power needs while leveraging its country’s resources.