Hydropower in Southern Africa

The region of Southern Africa encompasses the following countries: Angola, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mo­zambique, Na­mibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Countries in this region are mostly stable and middle-income. Vast abundancies of minerals like gold, platinum, uranium, copper, and diamonds identify the economies, besides agriculture and subsistence farming. As the most industrialized country, South Africa is economically dominant in the region, but countries such as Zambia and Botswana have fast growing economies and add to regional stability. The drought over recent years has caused a decline in the economy, but the prospects are nonetheless promising.

Angola, with a technically feasible hydropower potential of about 150,000 GWh, has a leading role in the development of hydropower in Southern Africa. Madagascar shows promising 180,000 GWh. Zambia with its numerous rivers has a potential of about 68,000 GWh. Mozambique further represents encouraging 37,647 GWh. In Zambia, about 775 MW of capacity are under construction and there is a strong focus on rehabilitation of existing facilities. In Zimbabwe, which has a potential of more than 17,000 GWh, some major projects are planned in cooperation with Zambia. Also, more than 100 MW of small hydro schemes have been identified. In Lesotho a feasibility study on a pumped storage plant is underway.


ANDRITZ HYDRO can look back on more than 100 years of business in the Southern African region. The com­pany has had a local company operating in South Africa since 1979 and was involved in major projects throughout the region, including; HPP Muela in Lesotho, PSPP Steen­bras and PSPP Drakensberg in South Africa, HPP Kafue Gorge and HPP Kariba in Zambia, HPP Rua­cana in Namibia, HPP Laùca and HPP Cambambe in Angola, as well as all the significant hydropower plants in Malawi.


HPP Ruacana, Namibia

HPP Ruacana is situated on the Kunene River and was originally commissioned in 1978. ANDRITZ HYDRO was the original equipment manufacturer (OEM). The underground power plant consists of four Francis turbines with a total installed capacity of 330 MW. In 2009, the fourth unit was delivered and installed; rehabi­litation of units #1–#3 was comple­ted during 2015 and the power plant successfully recommissioned.


Population:165.13 Mio.
Total installed hydro capacity incl. pumped storage10,051 MW
Hydro capacity under construction3,921 MW
Hydro generation43,348 GWh
Technically feasible hydro generation potential     303,715 GWh
Installed capacity  3,860 MW
Installed units84
The World Bank, IEA, World Energy Outlook, Hydropower & Dams World Atlas 2016
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