via Batoka construction next year, minister – NewZimbabwe 16/01/2016
CONSTRUSCTION of the Batoka Hydro Power Plant on the Zambezi River along the Zimbabwe-Zambia border will start in 2017, a cabinet minister has revealed.
Energy and Power Development Minister, Samuel Undenge, last week told journalists in Harare that the feasibility studies are expected to be completed by June this year.
“The feasibility studies are going on very well and the joint project between Zimbabwe and Zambia will start next year as we look forward to add more megawatts to our national grid,” said Undenge.
The project, which is being funded by the World Bank, is expected to generate 2,400 megawatts of electricity.
Undenge said the debt Zimbabwe owed the Central African Power Corporation (Capco) has been “dealt with” to pave way for a smooth cooperation between the two countries.
The Capco debt accrued during the construction of Kariba Dam.
Government recently attributed the massive power cuts across the country to low water levels at Kariba Dam.
However, critics say lack of proper planning and poor management of the Kariba Dam has resulted in the current power supply problems which have rocked both Zambia and Zimbabwe.
ZESA, through its subsidiary Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC), reportedly exhausted its water usage limits by huge volumes resulting in an unprecedented decline of water levels in the dam.
Minister Undenge has been under fire for allegedly failing to improve electricity supplies and to establish new power generation projects.
Zimbabwe needs 2,200 megawatts of electricity per day but is currently generating less than half the requirement.
The Harare government has however agreed billion dollar deals with China for the upgrade of a number of power plants with the projects expected to be completed over the next few years.