- The Zambezi River Authority’s (ZRA) Council of Ministers has awarded the tender for the construction of the 2400Mw Zimbabwe/Zambia Batoka Gorge Hydro Project to a consortium of General Electric and Power Construction Corporation of China.
- The project is structured on a Build-Operate-Transfer financial model bypassing the need for sovereign debt security.
The current power crisis for both Zimbabwe and Zambia spurred the need to award the tender to a company that was ready to handle the construction in order to speed up the process.
Zimbabwe’s Energy and Power Development Minister, Fortune Chasi, and his Finance and Economic Development partner, Professor Mthuli Ncube, Zambia’s Energy Minister, Matthew Nkhuwa, and his Finance Minister Margaret Mwanakatwe, were part of the ZRA council of ministers that granted the tender after signing a statement on behalf of both governments. The statement stressed on the need for quick action in order to solve the power shortage.
The project is being implemented under the auspices of the Zambezi River Authority (ZRA), a bi-national organisation mandated to operate, monitor and maintain the Kariba Dam Complex as well as exploit the full potential of the Zambezi River.
The plant location is 2km’s downstream from Victoria Falls on the Zambezi River. Bringing Batoka Gorge on-stream will see Zimbabwe attain electricity self-sufficiency. The country is producing about 1,300 MW against demand of 1,900 MW, with deficits being covered by imports from South Africa and Mozambique.
The project is estimated to take 10 years to be fully complete.
Related news: Drought triggers load shedding in Zimbabwe. Read more
Author: Bryan Groenendaal