Committee for Batoka project
Harare – Zambia and Zimbabwe will establish a steering committee to work with the Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) on the Batoka Gorge power generation plant.
ZRA was initially mandated to set up the plant to be situated on the Batoka Gorge along the Zambezi River near Victoria Falls, Matabeleland North province.
But now Zambia and Zimbabwe – who share Kariba Dam and its power station – are leading the project and in December invited bids from construction firms.
The project is expected to cost US$4 billion, and the two countries want investors to come on board on a build-operate-transfer arrangement.
Zimbabwe’s Energy and Power Development Minister Elton Mangoma said officials from the two sides would meet soon to constitute the steering committee. “We met (last) week in Victoria Falls and agreed to set up a steering committee to spearhead implementation of the Batoka Power Project. The team will be working with the Zambezi River Authority and will include people from both countries,” he said.
Mangoma added, “We will be opening a road to the project site by June.”
Quarterly meetings will be held to assess progress.
The Batoka Gorge project includes construction of a dam and hydro-power with capacity to generate between 1 600MW and 2 000MW of electricity.
The project falls within SADC’s priority projects for infrastructure development.
The bloc recently agreed on an ambitious Energy Sector Plan that calls for the region to increase power generation by more than 70 percent and invest at least US$170 billion over the next 15 years.