2400Mw Zimbabwe/Zambia Batoka Gorge Hydro Project Gains Traction

  • The US 5.2bn project is being implemented under the auspices of the Zambezi River Authority (ZRA).
  • Engineering feasibility for the 2,400-megawatt (MW) power station will be completed by end of Q1 2019.
  • The project is structured on a Build-Operate-Transfer financial model bypassing the need for sovereign debt security.

Zambia and Zimbabwe have shortlisted American, European and Chinese companies to build the Batoka Gorge hydro power plant. The US 5.2bn project is expected to have a capacity of 2,400MW of power capacity. 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 consortium of General Electric and Power Construction Corporation of China, Salini Impregilo of Italy and a joint venture of Chinese firms Three Gorges Corporation, China International and Water Electric Corporation and China Gezhouba Group Company Ltd are the companies shortlisted for the project, local media reported.

Engineering feasibility for the 2,400-megawatt (MW) power station will be completed by end of Q1 2019. The project is structured on a Build-Operate-Transfer financial model. As such no sovereign guarantees will be required and the project will not put any fiscal strain on the government of Zambia and Zimbabwe. Both Governments will share the power equally.

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.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

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