THE multi-billion Batoka power project is set to take off after the Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) yesterday invited bids from prospective developers on a Build Operate Transfer (BOT) basis.
By our Business Reporter
The legal and environmental feasibility studies were carried out in 1993 and are set to be reviewed next year.
The tender closes on February 8, 2013. Construction of the project is estimated at $4 billion.
“In line with its mandate, ZRA now seeks to develop the Batoka Gorge Hydroelectric Scheme on the Zambezi River on a BOT basis.
“ZRA hereby invites expressions of interest from interested companies or consortia with experience in developing large scale hydropower projects on Build Operate Transfer basis,” ZRA said.
ZRA is jointly owned by the Zimbabwean and Zambian governments who are responsible for the operation and maintenance of Kariba Dam.
The body ensures the effective and efficient use of water and other resources of the Zambezi River.
ZRA said the hydroelectric scheme would be located between Zambia and Zimbabwe upstream of the existing 1 470 megawatts Kariba Dam.
“The proposed scheme includes a 181m high roller compacted concrete gravity arch dam, radial gated crest type spillway, two underground power stations on each side of the river with four 200 megawats Francis turbines installed in each, giving a total capacity of 1600mw for the scheme,” the body said.
The construction of the power station will increase power generating capacity of Kariba Power Station with a further 300 megawatts from 600 megawatts.
The Batoka Gorge project includes the construction of a dam and a hydro power plant on the Zambezi River and has the potential of generating 1 600 megawatts between the two countries.
The project, when completed, would reduce Zimbabwe’s dependence on power imports.
In April this year, Zimbabwe and Zambia signed a memorandum of understanding to jointly construct a 1 650-megawatt Batoka hydro-power project.