Batoka construction next year, minister

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.

COMMENTS

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  • comment-avatar
    Roberta Mugarbage 5 years ago

    I am not getting my hopes up yet but this sounds like good news. Hopefully the politicians let the engineers do their work.

  • comment-avatar
    essexfarmer 5 years ago

    A new Batoka dam might reduce reliance on coal fired power station output, but it will be just as vulnerable to drought as Kariba, possibly more so given its much smaller catchment area. The thing about power generation reliability is to have as diverse generation sources as are practical. Even nuclear has its place in terms of being unaffected by weather and burns no fossil fuels, with the modern thorium ones not leaving nuclear waste, not that I would trust Zim to pay for or run one! Maybe Zim should have some solar PV panel production as well as coal and hydro, make use of the free winter sun to power wheat farmers irrigation pumps during the dry season?