MCA Group is leading the consortium of the largest solar energy project in Angola with an investment by the Angolan Government of more than 523 million euros, which will produce enough energy to supply the needs of millions of people, mainly in rural areas.
The consignment and launching ceremony of 2 projects at Biópio and Baia Farta took place on March 11, and was attended by the Minister of Energy and Water of Angola, João Baptista Borges, the Secretary of State for Water, Lucrécio Costa, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Sweden to Angola, Ewa Polano, the Chairman and President of MCA Group, Manuel Couto Alves, the Chairman of the board of directors of MCA Vias, Vítor Lima, the Executive Director and responsible for the project, Elisabete Alves, by several general directors of MCA Group and management team associated with Solar projects and also by members of the Benguela government, diplomats from Portugal and representatives of the Embassy of the United States of America in Angola.
As we have already reported here, 7 photovoltaic plants, with a total capacity of 370 megawatts (MWp), are being built in six provinces of Angola: Benguela, Huambo, Bié, Lunda Norte, Lunda Sul and Moxico.
In an interview to the portuguese newspaper Diário de Notícias, which can be accessed here, the Minister of Energy and Water of Angola, João Batista Borges, declares that Angola has a high potential for solar resources and that this project marks a strategic investment in the exploitation of this renewable energy that is abundant and increasingly cheaper.
This energy is expected to benefit around 1.2 million families, allowing access to cleaner and more economical electricity in extremely populated regions. As it will enable a reduction in the use of small and large gasoline and diesel generators, consequently there will be a reduction in the expenses of the population and of the local public administration. This project will also be strategic to promote essential areas such as education, health or commercial activities.
The minister says that when analyzing the advantage of replacing the diesel used in the production of electricity, in comparison with the same thermal capacity as diesel, the approximately 370 MWp of solar capacity to be installed will allow to eliminate the need for consumption of 1.4 million liters of diesel per day, even considering the intermittent nature of this new energy source. Also points out the advantages that this replacement of polluting sources brings, for example, will generate employment throughout the different phases and will enable a reduction of regional and social imbalances and disparities.
When asked about the absence of Chinese financiers, which may represent a sign of diversification of foreign investment, the minister replies that it is above all a sign of the international credibility that the country is recovering, which is the effect of an economic policy and structural adjustment measures. The minister concludes by stating that nobody wants to “miss this train” and that this sign results from the confidence that creditors have in Angola’s ability to honor its commitments and, above all, in the country’s stability and firm leadership.
This project has partners from different geographies (Sweden, the Netherlands, the United States of America, South Korea, among others), with recognized international suppliers and market leaders, namely Nextracker (USA), Hanwha Q -cells (South Korea), ABB (Sweden), whose dimension, experience, competitiveness and strategic vision of sustainability is aligned with the Government of Angola and with the developer and Epcista M.Couto Alves, SA (Portugal) / M .Couto Alves-Vias (Angola) and Sun Africa (USA).
The project, considered Green Loan, obtained highly competitive financing conditions for the Angolan government, with the endorsement of top international financial entities, complying with the highest standards of international banking. The LCOE – levelized cost of energy – for this project is the lowest in the region.
This is another major project carried out by the MCA Group, with a strong commitment to sustainability and decarbonization of the economy, which in addition to marking the future of sustainable energy in Angola, will generate an environmental, social and economic positive impact in the country.