According to a statement from CIPRA, to which VerAngola had access, the head of state pointed to the completion of the infrastructure for October 2026.
"The President of the Republic, João Lourenço, reiterated that the completion of the Caculo Cabaça Hydroelectric Facility, the third largest in Africa and the largest in Angola, should take place within three years, specifically in October 2026", reads the note.
In addition, João Lourenço also left the guarantee that the Government will make efforts to prevent the suspension of the contract. "The Head of State, who visited this Saturday, May 20, the infrastructure located in Cuanza Norte, assured the Executive's effort to prevent the stoppage of works", adds the statement.
According to the note, at the site, the head of state proceeded to unveil the plaque, as well as press the "button that marks the completion of the provisional diversion of the River Kwanza".
On the occasion, the President also mentioned that the "project has guaranteed financing, but compliance with the execution schedule will depend on the disbursement by the financiers", reads in the communiqué.
At the end of the visit to the development, João Lourenço, speaking to the press, said he left with "the feeling of what has already been accomplished up to the present date", but that the act of diverting the river is assumed to be "an important milestone for the continuation of the works".
"I leave here with the feeling of what has already been accomplished to date, but that the act of diverting the river that we just witnessed a moment ago is an important milestone for the continuation of the works on this important project of the Hydroelectric Use of Caculo Cabaça" , he said, adding that they hope "that within approximately three years – more precisely, if we want to have the necessary rigor, in October 2026 – we will inaugurate what will be the largest hydroelectric dam in Angola and the third largest on the African continent, after the Aswan Dam, in Egypt, and the Cahora Bassa Dam, in Mozambique".
"We are going to work not to stop. No one gives a written guarantee. We are going to do everything in the sense that, I repeat, on the promised or estimated date (October 2026), we come back here right now to cut the ribbon and put this great undertaking in place, this great infrastructure, at the service of the country, at the service of the economy, at the service of the people", he said.
João Lourenço also referred that the Government will continue to invest in this and other areas, such as energy transport.
"We intend to do what we have to do. It is to invest in this field. In the field of transporting energy from the main sources of energy production. Without a shadow of a doubt, at the moment the main sources of energy distribution are to be found here in Baixo Kwanza. This has already started to be done, but we will continue to invest in transporting energy in the three large dams here in Baixo Kwanza. I am referring to the Cambambe, Capanda, Laúca Hydroelectric Facility and, within three years, also from Caculo Cabaça, to take that energy as far as possible so that it can serve the center, south, north and east of our country", he said.
The head of state also said that, along with the power transmission lines, "substations will also be built and then the final investment tip which is, without a doubt, home connections".
"Because it's not enough to have energy production centers, it's not enough to put high voltage energy in these locations. We need to put this low voltage energy, 220 volts, in the homes of consumers and industries that, of course, some already have. exist and others will arise, to consume the energy we are producing", he added.
In addition, he referred that "this project has secured funding". "What I was saying last week is that, if all goes well, if there are no delays in disbursements – to be clear – we will meet the deadlines. and Industrial of China, in relation to the civil work; and financing from a German bank, which will finance the cost of the five turbines that will generate energy in this hydroelectric project", said João Lourenço.
Thus, he added: "Therefore, the question of financing, in principle, does not arise. It is evident that we have to ensure that deadlines are not missed, so as not to also condition the pace of work on the ground".
However, he highlighted that the act carried out on Saturday, "means an important step for the continuity of the work", since "it is from now on, after the river is dry in that part – because the water starts to be diverted from from now on – that the civil contractor will start building the dam".
"Therefore, for us to have a hydroelectric dam of this kind, we need to have two fundamental things: the reservoir built to store the water and, obviously, the turbines that, taking advantage of this water, will generate the necessary energy", he added.
According to a note from the Presidency of the Republic, in Cuanza Norte, the President also visited the works of the General Hospital in that province. On Saturday morning "when the Head of State arrived in the city of Ndalatando and even before traveling by air to Caculo Cabaça, he made a verification visit to the construction work for the future General Hospital in that city", reads the note, who adds that the objective was "to take the pulse of the evolution of the works".
João Lourenço's trip to Cuanza Norte was also marked by a cultural moment.
"The ethno-cultural group Os Vindjomba, in their 'training school' version, staged" on Saturday "a very special moment during the visit that the President of the Republic made to the site where the Caculo Cabaça Hydroelectric Power Plant is being built, in the province of Cuanza Norte", refers another note from the Presidency, which VerAngola had access to.
On the occasion, the "petizes sang, danced and addressed President João Lourenço individually, showing sympathy and, in some cases, innocent humor, as when one of them asked the head of state to visit the school where he studies, to meet his peers and teachers".
According to the note, the President "was receptive all the time and had fun with the junior dancers, with one of them even staying by his side while João Lourenço answered questions from journalists".
The President of the Republic returned to the capital on the same day (Saturday), having received greetings from the Vice-President of the Republic, Esperança da Costa, as well as other members of the State's central administration.
Caculo Cabaça Hydroelectric Development
It should be noted that the Caculo Cabaça Hydroelectric Facility, which is under the responsibility of the Ministry of Energy and Water, is part of "the program to reinforce the capacity to produce electricity" in the country.
According to CIPRA, the project "will produce, on average, 8,566 gigawatts of electricity per year, allowing for annual savings of 2,850,000 tons of coal and, consequently, a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions of around nine million tons".