Zambia–Zimbabwe: Batoka Gorge Hydro Power Project Taking Shape

Zambia and Zimbabwe have shortlisted American, European and Chinese companies to build the Batoka Gorge hydro power plant.

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 the first quarter, it said.

The project will be schemed on a Build-Operate-Transfer financing model and will not put any fiscal strain on the government of Zambia and Zimbabwe as no sovereign guarantees will be required.

The $5,2 billion plant will be situated a few kilometers downstream Victoria Falls on the Zambezi River, and Zimbabwe and Zambia will share the electricity equally.

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.

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