Harare - Feasibility studies to ensure the Batoka power plant project, to be developed by Zambia and Zimbabwe on the Zambezi River is a successful project founded on realistic and accurate conditions are underway, with construction work expected to commence in 2020, the Zambezi River Authority has revealed.
The Zimbabwean and Zambian governments are set to establish a 2 400 MW hydroelectricity power plant that will generate equal shares of electricity for the two nations from the Zambezi River.
The power plant project, which has been in pipeline for the past seven years, has recorded significant traction in the past few months following a memorandum of understanding signed by Zambian President Edgar Lungu and his Zimbabwean Emmerson Mnangagwa in 2018.
In a bid to speed up the paper work for the two governments to commence the construction work, officials from the ZRA, and the governments of Zambia and Zimbabwe met in Zambia a few months ago and agreed to finish all the necessary paper work by the end of this year.
ZRA public relations officer, Elizabeth Karonga, confirmed that the project will reach the construction phase next year, since feasibility studies are already in progress.
“The project is currently under preparation with the feasibility studies being completed while in parallel, the developer for the project being procured and expected to be engaged by end of 2019.
“Once engaged, the developer is expected to commence works by the end of 2020”, Karonga said.
Secretary for Energy and Power Development in Zimbabwe, Gloria Magombo, added that the two governments were working tirelessly to make sure the Batoka power plant project comes to reality.
“The two governments involved are putting their best efforts to make sure the project is a success,” Magombo said.
The Batoka hydro electricity power plant project will cost the two governments $4 billion.
The power station will benefit Zimbabwe and Zambia in a great way.
Upon completion, the Batoka hydro electricity power station will raise the share of renewable resources in Zimbabwe from 42 percent to 80 percent.
Presidents Mnangagwa and Lungu are working hand in hand to see the project becoming a reality. Recently they shortlisted three developers and awarded tenders for the construction work to Power Construction Corporation of China, Salini Impreglio of Italy and General Electric of USA.
Zambia and Zimbabwe have made electricity generation a top priority for their governments and they are pushing to make their nations self-reliant when it comes to electricity generation.
Zimbabwe has in the past few months engaged in a number of projects, including the Hwange 7 and 8 expansion project which comprises two units of 300 MW, and it is expected to reach completion stage next year.
Zimbabwe has also engaged India to partner it in some of its electricity generating programmes, including the development of the Bulawayo thermal power station.
Zambia, which is targeting an increase in electricity generation by 2030, has engaged its government in a number of electricity projects, including the ZiZaBoNa, a transmission line and inter connector that will link electricity grids of Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana and Namibia.
The ZiZaBoNa project will provide an alternative power transmission route in the SADC region.
Zambia has also engaged the World Bank and has embarked on various electricity generation projects such as the large scale 50 MW solar power generation plant.