Hydroelectric Plants in Southern Africa - other countries
Cahora Bassa
Location: Mozambique
Operator: Hidroelectria de Cahora Bassa SA
Configuration: 5 X 415-MW Francis
Operation: 1977-1979
T/G supplier: Neyrpic, Sorefame, BBC, Siemens
EPC: Hidrotechnica Portugesa Consultores Estudos & Projects, Hochtief, Siemens, AEG, Voith, BBC
Quick facts: The Cahora Bassa Project started as a joint project between the Portuguese and South African Governments in the late 1960s whereby Portugal would build and operate the power station and part of an HVDC transmission system to deliver electricity to South Africa. The dam was closed in 1974 and the power plant brought online from 1977-1979 along with a 2,300km, 533kV transmission line and two massive converter stations. Years of regional warfare extensively damaged the transmission system. This was rebuilt in the mid- to late-1990s and the dam and electro-mechanical equipment modernized and repaired. Electricity is now sold to Mozambique, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. Lake Cahora Bassa is about 270 km long. The HPP produced a record 16,978 GWh in 2015. A Power Plant Trading Card was made for this plant.

Photograph courtesy of Hidroelectria de Cahora Bassa SA
Posted 6 Jan 2016

Location: Burundi
Operator: Fundacion G3T
Configuration: 1 X 160 kW crossflow
Operation: 2006
T/G supplier: Ossberger, AVK
EPC: Aplitelc Berguedda SLU

Photograph courtesy of Aplitelc Bergueda SLU
Posted 4 Jul 2015

Location: Rwanda
Operator: Rwanda Mountain Tea Ltd
Configuration: 2 X 2.15-MW Pelton
Operation: 2014
T/G supplier: Gugler
EPC: Sher Ingeniurs-Conseils sa, Horizon-Aquifer JV Ltd, Gehydro Consulting Engineers and Planners Ltd
Quick facts: Construction on this SHP on the Giciye River in northwestern Rwanda started in Mar 2012. The scheme has a small dam, ,2.5km power canal, and powerhouse. The head is 165m. The $12mn project was built with grant assistance from the Davey Ouwens Fund of the Dutch MOFA and further investment from BIO-Société Belge d'Investissement pour les Pays en Développement.

Photograph courtesy of Ministry of Infrastructure
Posted 28 Sep 2014

Katse Dam
Location: Lesotho
Operator: Lesotho Highlands Development Auth
Configuration: 2 X 500 kW
Operation: 1997
T/G supplier: ??
Quick facts: The 185m Katse Dam was the tallest in Africa at completion. The dam is a double curvature concrete arch, 710m along the crest. The two minihydro sets suffice to power dam operations.

Photograph by A R Turton and courtesy of AWIRU
Posted 5 Dec 2004

Maguga Dam
Location: Swaziland
Operator: Komati Basin Water Authority
Configuration: 2 X 10 MW Francis
Operation: 2007
T/G supplier: Alstom
EPC: Ninham Shand, Keeve Steyn, VKE Engineers, SRK Consultants, ZMCK, Kagga & Partners, M&E Consultants, LTA, Group 5, Grinaker, WBHO, Swaziland Contractors Assoc
Quick facts: Kobwa is a bi-national company formed in 1993 through the treaty on the Development and Utilization of the Water Resources of the Komati River Basin signed in 1992 between the Kingdom of Swaziland and the Republic of South Africa. Phase 1B of Kobwa’s initial development was Maguga Dam. The clay core, rock-fill dam is 12km south of Pigg's Peak and has a total height of 115m, making it the fifth highest dam in Southern Africa. A 460m outlet tunnel is equipped with twin 2000mm diameter steel penstocks. Power generation is dependant on irrigation requirements and therefore varies widely. Since high floods can occur on the Komati River at Maguga, a very large spillway was constructed.

Photograph by nyinyu (Panoramio)
Posted 26 Dec 2008

Location: Madagascar
Operator: Jiro sy Rano Malagasy
Configuration: 4 X 6 MW Pelton
Operation: 1958-1972
T/G supplier: Vevey, Althom-Jeumont, BBC
Quick facts: The Mandraka site is 70km from Antananarivo, on the road to Toamasina. Each group is equipped with two runners on the same turbine shaft, with two injectors per runner. In Nov 2003, VA TECH Hydro in France was awarded a contract to rehabilitate the plant. The scope included four new runners, two new turbine shafts, four new oil tanks with accumulators, two new speed governors, the rehabilitation of mechanical components as well as an electrical assembly comprising transformers, plus switchgear and electrical equipment supplied by CEGELEC. Funding is from the EIB.

Photograph courtesy of Dilag-Tours
Posted 15 Feb 2008

Location: Lesotho
Operator: Lesotho Highlands Development Auth
Configuration: 3 X 24 MW Francis
Operation: 1999
T/G supplier: Boving, ABB
EPC: Lahmeyer International, Mott MacDonald, ABCC, Spie Batignolles, Campenon Bernard, Balfour Beatty, Ed Zublin, ‘Muela Hydropower Project Contractors.
Quick facts: The underground 'Muela hydropower station was built between the southern and norther parts of the water tunnel system from Katse Dam. The headrace is a 45km transfer tunnel. Water exits into the 'Muela tailpond, formed by a 55m high dam on the Nqoe River. This provides the headwater for the continuation of water delivery to South Africa. First feasibility studies were in 1986 and tender designs were done in 1990. Construction began in Feb 1994.

Photograph courtesy of Rand Water
Posted 23 Jan 2013

Location: Rwanda
Operator: Rwanda Energy Group Ltd
Configuration: 2 X 14-MW Francis
Operation: 2014
T/G supplier: BHEL
EPC: BHEL, SMEC, Angelique International
Quick facts: This power station is 75km southwest of Kigali on the Nyabarongo River, in Mushishiro, Muhanga District, Southern Province. This will be the largest HPP in Rwanda at completion. Construction got underway in Mar 2010, about a year past the initial schedule. The project includes a 120KV tie-line to Kilinda Substation. The toal cost is about $110mn.

Photograph courtesy of Ministry of Infrastructure
Posted 28 Sep 2014

Location: Madagascar
Operator: Hydelec Madagascar SA
Configuration: 3 X 5 MW Pelton
Operation: 2008
T/G supplier: Hunan Lingling Hengyuan
EPC: Stucky
Quick facts: When commissioned In Oct 2008, this was Madagascar's first such plant of any size built in 30yrs. Prime Minister Charles Rabemananjara presided at the opening ceremony. The €15mn plant was financed by Banque Africaine de Developpement, BFV-Societe Generale, and Mauritius Commercial Bank. MIGA also issued a 15yr guarantee of $19.89mn to Energy Engineering Investment covering its equity investment in and shareholder loans to Hydelec. The project was implemented under a 30yr concession agreement and Hydelec has a 10yr power purchase agreement with Jirama. Annual production will be about 70 GWh and the expected generation cost is 4.8 cents/kWh. The turbines operate with a head of 243m and the plant is connected via a 63kV line running about 30km north to Jirama's substation at Antsirabe. This was built by BP Automation.

Photograph courtesy of Hydelec Madagascar
Posted 15 Feb 2008


Data: industcards, Platts UDI World Electric Power Plants Data Base

Updated 25-Jan-2017