Chinese, US firms in joint bid for Batoka

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Batoka Gorge Hydro-Electric Power plant
Batoka Gorge Hydro-Electric Power plant

Global electrical engineering giants, China Power and General Electric (GE) of the United States have launched a joint bid for a contract to construct the 2, 400 megawatt Batoka Gorge hydropower project being co-developed by Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe’s Energy and Power Development Minister Simon Khaya Moyo, while officiating at a Zesa annual risk management awards ceremony on Friday, said the two electrical engineering giants paid him a visit at his offices on Friday and expressed strong interest in the project.

The Energy Minister said that while Zimbabwe had successfully commissioned the Kariba South Extension project, in March this year, which added 300MW to national electricity grid, the country was remained shot of adequate power, adding Harare’s goal was to be energy self-sufficient as well as be a net exporter of power.

As such, Minister Moyo said that he would engage his Zambian counterparts to discuss ways in which the implementation of the Batoka power project, which the two countries urgently need to resolve power deficits in their countries, could be expedited.

The Batoka Gorge sits on the Zambezi River, whose administration the riparian states share.

It also supplies water to the jointly owned Kariba Dam, which the two countries use for power generation, 1050MW for Zimbabwe and for 1080MW for Zambia.

“This morning (Friday), I received representatives from China Power and General Electric (GE) from the US. They have shown great enthusiasm to move into Batoka (hydropower project),” he said.

“I do know my colleagues would want to accept this development. I will consult and we will meet, as members of the Zambezi River Authority to discuss how we can speed up the programme.”

The $3 billion Batoka power station will be situated about 60 kilometres downstream of the Victoria Falls on the Zambezi River and is expected to improve the two countries’ power supply, currently in deficit and also feed into the Southern African Power Pool.

Zimbabwe and Zambia’s demand for energy are forecast to more than double by 2035.

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16 COMMENTS

  1. Quite interesting to see Chinese and American companies collaborating at economic level. An outsider wouls assume they have nothing to with each other just as we see it at political level.
    Hydro power is ideally the cheapest.

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  2. We Zambian have to be care with these back door moves. This should come through the competitive tender process so we can get the best value for money.

    Anyway, I’m whistling against the wind. These PF chaps would not know what’s best for the country other than to jump at the blind opportunity.

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  3. Subcontract it to the Ethiopians and the Moroccans. Being African nations with a growth in hydro electric engendering, it is a win for Zambia and the continent. For security reasons as well you cannot let two seating nations of the Security council of the UN develop your energy grid.

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  4. LT the photo above is not even on the Zambezi get your photos correct, if Batoka is built kiss Vic falls good bye and its tourism value as the narrow gorge will back up to the falls and instead of 105m tall it will be 11m in the wet season and dry in oct, nov dec. Greedy politicians only interested in the cash kick backs.

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    • And you mean engineers who designing this dam/project have not taken that into account? You do understand dams are built to a certain CAPACITY, right? If are about to exceed the designed-for-capacity, FLOOD GATES are opened…. isn’t that how dams work? So why would they let water backup 60 miles to the Vic falls given the TOURIST IMPORTANCE and WORLD HERITAGE status of the falls?

      You must really think you are the “smartest” dude on Earth to say something like that!

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    • Hahahaha!

      From a PF suppota that has conveniently forgotten that it was PF that cancelled the Kafue Gorge lower project in 2011 that caused all the LOAD SHEDDING!
      And then five YEARS later signed EXACTLY THE SAME CONTRACT but for US$ 800 MILLION more that the first one they cancelled?
      There is PROOF of PF corruption right in front of your eyes!

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  5. CHINA WILL NEVER GO AHEAD WITH THIS PARTNERSHIP, GE OF US IAM SURE IS DEPENDING ON CHINA POWER TO FUND WHILE THE AMERICANS DO ADMINSTRATION ISSUES

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  6. LT please stop showing a picture of a dam in Nigeria and captioning it “Batoka Gorge”. The work in Batoka Gorge has not yet even started, but you show a picture of a completed dam. You can even confuse ministers to say that work is going well ka? Thanks

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