SIX senior officials from Zimbabwe and Zambia will today meet in Victoria Falls to discuss issues surrounding the development of the multi-billion dollar Batoka project and the Kariba Dam, it has been learnt.
Report by Victoria Mtomba
Energy and Power Development minister Elton Mangoma, Finance minister Tendai Biti and Attorney-General Johannes Tomana will engage their Zambian counterparts over the power project.
Zimbabwe and Zambia share Kariba Dam and are jointly
working on the Batoka power project.
The two countries in December invited bids from prospective developers on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis for the construction of the project that is expected to cost $4 billion.
“We will be looking at all the issues that deal with Kariba Dam, the Batoka project, Devil’s Gorge and also the social aspects — the work to be done for communities around the Kariba Dam,” Mangoma said in an interview.
The Zambezi River Authority (ZRA), the authority that is responsible for the construction of the power project, recently invited bids for the development of the project.
ZRA is jointly owned by the Zimbabwean and Zambian governments and is responsible for the operation and maintenance of Kariba Dam.
The body ensures the effective and efficient use of water and
other resources in the Zambezi River.
“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 megawatts Francis turbines installed in each, giving a total capacity of 1 600MW for the scheme,” the body said.
The construction of the power station will increase power generating capacity of Kariba Power Station by a further 300MW.
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 600MW between the two countries.
Zimbabwe and Zambia signed a memorandum of understanding to jointly construct the Batoka hydro-power project in April 2012.
Meanwhile, Mangoma said the tender process for the Kariba 7 and 8 expansion was now at an advanced stage with a funding package expected to be completed by March this year.
“The contract for Kariba 7 and 8 has been signed and works for mobilisation are being done.
As for Hwange 7 and 8, two tenders are being evaluated and once a tender has been awarded, a final decision would be made. The tender board would be advised,” he said.