Zim, Zambia power plant plan expanded by 800MW

Batoka power project

LUSAKA — Plans for a hydro-electric power plant between Zambia and Zimbabwe have been expanded to 2 400 megawatts (MW) from 1 600MW, an industry official said on Sunday.

A recent study showed that the Batoka Gorge power plant would produce more electricity than previously envisaged, according to Munyaradzi Munodawafa, chief executive of the company in charge of the project, the Zambezi River Authority.

“We are looking, at most, that it is going to produce 2 400MW. This is an improvement  from previous studies which were talking about
1 600MW,” Munodawafa said.

The completion of the project, which will involve the construction of a dam and a hydro power plant on the Zambezi River, is expected to ease an electricity shortage in the two countries and southern Africa.

Munodawafa said a feasibility study was almost complete and a report would be ready by May after which an environmental impact assessment would be conducted by June.

“After we have done that, we will start looking for developers,” Munodawafa said.

It is expected that the plant will be built and operated by a private company for a period of years before ownership is transferred to the two States, he said.

The cost, previously estimated at $2,5 billion, would be known in May after the feasibility study, Munodawafa said.

— Reuters