Cambambe Dam

Project profile
August 14, 2015

Our client

The Ministry of Finance in Angola, acting as borrower on all financing aspects of the project.

Project location

Cambambe, Angola

Project description

The project, undertaken by a contractor consortium comprising Construtora Norberto Odebrecht S.A. Sucursal Angola (the Angolan branch of Brazil’s Odebrecht) and Odebrecht Angola Projectos e Serviços LDA (an Angolan company), involves the modernisation and expansion of a hydroelectric plant with a power generating capacity of 180MW.

The existing plant includes a 60 metre high arch dam and an underground powerhouse. The expansion project involves the construction of a second powerhouse with four additional turbine generators providing a total additional capacity of 700MW.

Scope of work

A team from Norton Rose Fulbright's London office negotiated and drafted complex finance documents with the lenders, led by HSBC and Société Génerale and backed by export credit agencies CESCE and Euler Hermes. The project was also supported by MIGA. The participation of multiple ECAs and MIGA in this transaction increased the complexity of the financing. A significant effort was made by our team to ensure the full protection of the borrower’s interests given the stringent requirements of export credit agencies.

The Norton Rose Fulbright team also managed the successful completion of financial close.

Key features of the project

This project gives a clear indication of the increasing number of commercial lenders, European ECAs and multicultural agencies entering the Sub-saharan Africa projects and development market.  

After decades of under investment into the power sector, Angola suffers from chronic electricity shortages that are hampering the country’s economic development. The Cambambe plant is one of two hydroelectric power stations currently in operation on the Kwanza River. The project is part of a larger rehabilitation and expansion program being undertaken by the government of Angola, under which the country’s generation capacity is set to increase from around 1,500MW to over 5,000MW. Electricity from this project should offer an economic and efficient means of increasing the electricity supply in Angola.