The capital city Luanda requires a supply of about 220MW, of which 80MW is generated at Capanda. The 130MW second turbine is to be commissioned this May-June. The Capanda dam will also provide irrigation water for 120,000ha of land in the Malanje highlands and low Dondo, in the Kwanza-Norte province.

Construction of the Capanda dam started in 1987 and was expected to be completed within five years, but several interruptions were caused by the armed conflicts that ravaged the country. The project is part of the development of the Kwanza river and includes the construction of ten smaller dams between the localities of Capanda and Camabmbe.