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UPDATE 1-Angola to spend $18 bln to end power cuts by 2016
* Angola will use oil money to finance new dams, grids
* To open tenders for firms to rebuild power sector
(Updates with minister comment, details)
LUANDA, Sept 3 (Reuters) - Angola announced on Friday an $18 billion plan to overhaul its dams and power grids and end all power cuts by 2016.
Minister of State Carlos Feijo told a news conference a soon-to-be established oil fund will be used to finance the country's biggest investment in the power sector since the end of a civil war in 2002.
"By 2015 or 2016 we could have our energy problem resolved," said Feijo at a news conference aimed at assessing his government's first 200 days in power.
"The (energy) minister will soon launch a tender for the new dams."
With numerous powerful rivers crossing the country, Angola has tremendous potential for generating electricity but it only produces an estimated 790 megawatts compared to a potential capacity of 18,000 megawatts, according to the Energy Ministry.
Feijo said the new dams would help Angola produce over 4,000 megawatts of electricity by 2016.
South Africa's power utility Eskom [ESCJ.UL] agreed last year to help Angola develop its large hydroelectric power potential following a state-visit by South African President Jacob Zuma to Luanda.
Angola rivals Nigeria as Africa's biggest oil producer.
(Reporting by Henrique Almeida; Editing by Peter Graff)
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