Batoka power project on course | The Herald

via Batoka power project on course | The Herald by Sydney Kawadza October 1, 2013

THE construction of the US$3 billion Batoka Gorge Hydroelectricity Scheme is set to start by the end of next year after the completion of the US$2,5 million access road linking Victoria Falls and the Batoka Gorge through Chisuma area.

However, construction of the access road on the Zambian side is still to be competed with only less than 2km left.

The recent completion of the access road to the gorge on the Zimbabwean side would facilitate feasibility studies and designs for the station.

Zimbabwe and Zambia are expected to get 1 600MW from the envisaged project. The scheme would see the construction of a 54-kilometre Batoka Dam upstream of Lake Kariba.

Addressing journalists during a media tour of the Batoka Gorges in Zimbabwe and Zambia recently, Zambezi River Authority spokesperson Ms Elizabeth Karonga said the authority had launched the tendering process for an environmental impact assessment of the project.

“The Zimbabwean and Zambian governments have agreed on the need to set aside their differences emanating from the dispute over payments on the Kariba Dam and we have had a commitment from both President Mugabe and President Sata on the need to expedite the project.”

She said the authority was not expecting challenges from environment and social impediments since the area earmarked for the project was not populated and has minimal animal movement from the site.

“We expect the project to commence at the end of 2014 and the project would take at least seven years to complete.”

ZRA hydrology technician Mr Samuel Mwale said the hydroelectricity project would add significant power to alleviate power shortages in Zimbabwe and Zambia.

“The dam completion would see the generation of  1 600MW, that is 800MW on the Zimbabwean side and similar amount on the Zambian side.

“This would see both countries receiving quite a significant amount of electricity to alleviate power shortages in both countries,” he said.

Mr Mwale said there would be minimum environment and social impact on the communities.

“The dam wall would be about 181 metres in the Batoka Gorges and all the water would be confined in the gorges and this would have minimum impact on the environment and societies,” he said.

ZRA is a corporate body jointly owned by Zimbabwe and Zambia through bilateral agreements to co-manage the shared stretch of the Zambezi River and it has been managing Lake Kariba and its attendant infrastructure to facilitate and support hydropower generation through the country’s power utility companies.

Zambia and Zimbabwe have agreed to expand hydropower infrastructure on the Zambezi River.

The process leading to project implementation is organised under five main areas, namely that preparatory works, tendering process, organising project implementation, approval and awarding of contracts and construction and supervision of physical works.



  • comment-avatar

    A project that’s about to start at the end of 2014 is the one you say ‘is on track’…what hogwash propaganda…

    • comment-avatar

      This dam will have an impact on the ecosystem downstream, the Mana pools area below Kariba was impacted , it just takes some years for the negative impact to show it self.
      The Batoka dam will spell the end of white water rafting below the Falls. What will the fluctuating rise and fall of the river be below the Batoka Dam wall? has this figure been made public yet?
      In the low season there are areas of the Zambezi that are very shallow, these areas will no longer be navibable by boat, I have been boating on the Zambezi river for many years including into the batoka gorge and therefor have a knowledge of this part of the Zambezi, While you cannot stop progress, I was under the impression that Hydro schemes had been abandoned due to the experiences from Kariba where on numerous occasions we were down to less than half a metre of generating water, building another dam reliant on the same water is going to make it worse in times of low rainfall in the Zambezi catchment area. We should be building coal fired power stations instead, Zimbabwe has plenty coal.

  • comment-avatar
    Klyde Chapi 9 years ago

    Have they published the environmental assessment results yet? Would be great to see what the Environmental Assessment results are….

  • comment-avatar
    Don't Contact Me 9 years ago

    A lot of BS from the Herald as usual!!! Go to Comesa Website page at:

    where it states

    “The estimated project costs as at 2009 is US$2.8 billion”

    “The project is available for investment and has no takers at the moment. The detailed feasibility studies, which were completed in 1993, indicated that it is economically and technically feasible to construct 4 x 200 MW units on the Zimbabwe side. However, the feasibility studies will need reviewing.”