Zimbabwe/Zambia: Construction of 2400MW Batoka Gorge Hydro-Electric Scheme to Begin

  • Construction of the USD 4.5bn Batoka Gorge Hydro-Electric Scheme (BGHES) on the Zambezi River between Zambia and Zimbabwe is set to begin after the environmental and social impact assessment was completed on 11th December 2020.
  • The Zambezi River Authority’s (ZRA) Council of Ministers 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 back in July 2019.
  • The project is structured on a Build-Operate-Transfer financial model bypassing the need for sovereign debt security.
  • The project is estimated to take 10 years to complete.

The 2400MW project comprises a 181 m high, 720 m roller compacted concrete gravity arch dam, radial gated crest type spillway, four intakes in the reservoir, two surface power plants, 6 turbines plus transmission lines.

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 52km’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.

False jobs advertised

According to ZRA chief executive Munyaradzi Munodawafa, the said registration is reportedly taking place in some riparian communities within the project area in Zimbabwe. “People purporting to be recruitment agents appointed by the authority or the developer are illegally registering and collecting monies from unsuspecting members of the public especially those that are resident in Hwange, Jambezi, and other villages and townships” he said. He advised inhabitants of the said riparian communities to be vigilant and guard against such people and report them to law enforcement agencies.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

3 Comments

  1. In 1992 a feasibility study was completed for ZRA who contracted Acres International (now Hatch Ltd) to do a review by a panel of experts. I lead this panel and submitted our reports to ZRA. I am pleased to see that this very viable project is becoming reality after decades of delays. May this project benefit both countries involved for decades to come.

  2. This project will clearly have a devastating effect on the local environment. I hope those who profit from this can be happy.

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