Next step: Batoka Dam

via VictoriaFalls24 – Next step: Batoka Dam

Zimbabwe pays US$40M Kariba debt, paving way for Batoka Dam

The Zimbabwe Government has paid US$40 million towards its Federation-era power debt to Zambia, paving the way for construction of the Batoka Gorge hydro power station. The payment was made through power utility ZESA, which is wholly-owned by government.

The debt was for the shared cost of the Kariba Dam construction and the associated infrastructure. It also included proceeds of the sale of assets belonging to Central African Power Corporation (CAPCO), a power firm jointly owned by the two countries as members of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland which was dissolved in 1963. CAPCO was running the Kariba power project for the two countries but was disbanded in 1987.

ZESA spokesperson, Fullard Gwasira, confirmed the development last week saying the debt payment would help pave the way towards the construction of the Batoka Gorge hydro power station. He also indicated that the debt balance would be paid within the next seven months.

“We have already paid US$40 million to Zambia as part settlement of the US$70,8 million debt,” Gwasira said. “The balance will be cleared on or before March 2014 as we have total commitment to our side of the bargain to ensure that we have a clean bill with our Zambian counterparts. ZESA Holdings has rendered its cooperation to its Zambian counterparts, a move that will go a long way to ensure the smooth execution of the Batoka Hydro power project to achieve security of electricity supply.”

Zimbabwe and Zambia last year signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to jointly construct the Batoka hydro electric project with each country expected to get 800MW of electricity from the project, a development which would help boost power supply in the two countries.

The agreement on the project, situated about 50km downstream of Victoria Falls on the Zambezi River, was however dependent on Zimbabwe’s commitment to pay off the debt it owed Zambia over CAPCO.

The Batoka project, estimated to cost about US$3 billion is expected to be built and operated by a private company for a period of years before transferring ownership to the two states.

Fast facts about Kariba Debt:

– Zimbabwe Government paid money towards its Federation-era power debt to Zambia US$40 million

– Remaining debt US$30,8 million

– Looking to clear the rest of the debt by March 2014

Batoka Hydro Electric Project: 800MW of electricity

Batoka Gorge Project location: 50km downstream from Victoria Falls

Cost of Batoka Project: US$3 billion

Recently the State Procurement Board awarded tenders to China Machinery Engineering Company and Sino Hydro Corporation to expand Hwange and Kariba power stations respectively. The expansion of Hwange will see the additional of two units with a combined generation capacity of 600MW while the expansion of Kariba Power station will add 300MW of electricity to the national grid. Zimbabwe has also embarked on the refurbishment of its power stations to boost generation capacity.


By: Pete Roberts



  • comment-avatar
    Kusvikazvanaka 11 years ago

    This cheap talk of harnessing waters of the Batoka dam to generate electricity has been talked about for decades if I am not mistaken but everyone knows it ios just cheap cheap talk.

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    Where did the government get $40M? Just last month they said there wasn’t enough money to pay this month’s civil servant salaries. Oh, I forgot, now that the MDC is no longer part of the government Mugabe can openly use the country’s diamond money for whatever he wishes and Biti gets no credit for 4 years of begging him to do just that.

  • comment-avatar
    Kusvikazvanaka 11 years ago

    Mr NIKUV is Zim President

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    jongwe power 11 years ago

    Meanwhile, our landfills and sewage plants give off methane, gusts of wind blow across much of the country, which is sunny for most of the year, whilst the wood and sugar mills burn millions of tonnes of waste. Not to mention all that uranium, which REALLY needs to be monitored, because if it leaks into the Zambezi river, we won’t be eating the fish for a million years.

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    There is not a ‘federation era’ debt. The $40 mil is from Mugabe not paying his debts. The article makes it sound as if this is debt from ’63. Complete rubbish. There was not one ounce of debt on the books when the Federation ended, nor was there one ounce of debt on the books in ’80. All the debt now firmly lies at the feet of ZANU.

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    lost birthright 10 years ago

    They best get their Kariba problem fixed first before they build the Batoka project because a broken Kariba wall will take out the rest of the Batoka and Cobora basa too !