Batoka Gorge Hydroelectric Project Resumes Tendering After Delays

The Zambezi River Authority is reviving the $4.5 billion Batoka Gorge Hydroelectric Scheme, aiming to address power shortages in Zimbabwe and Zambia while prioritizing environmental sustainability.

Rizwan Shah
New Update
Batoka Gorge Hydroelectric Project Resumes Tendering After Delays

Batoka Gorge Hydroelectric Project Resumes Tendering After Delays

The Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) is engaging with key stakeholders to finalize the packaging of the 2,400 megawatt Batoka Gorge Hydroelectric Scheme, with plans to resume the tendering process for prospective developers in 2025. The $4.5 billion project, which was previously awarded to General Electric and Power Construction Corp of China, has faced several setbacks in recent years.

According to the ZRA, the onset of the coronavirus pandemic and difficulties in securing funding contributed to delays in moving the project forward. The authority is currently working on updating the initial environmental and engineering studies, which were completed in 2022 and 2019 respectively, to ensure the project is ready for the tendering process next year.

The scope of the Batoka Gorge Hydroelectric Scheme includes the construction of a dam wall, power station, and other associated infrastructure. The 2,400MW of electricity generated by the plant will be shared equally between Zimbabwe and Zambia, helping to alleviate power shortages affecting both countries.

In addition to the main project components, the ZRA is also developing plans for additional upstream reservoirs to assist with flood management and mitigate the impacts of climate change in the region. These reservoirs will play a crucial role in regulating water flow and ensuring the long-term sustainability of the hydroelectric scheme.

Why this matters: The resumption of the Batoka Gorge Hydroelectric Scheme tendering process marks a significant step towards addressing the energy deficits in Zimbabwe and Zambia. The successful completion of this project has the potential to drive economic growth and improve the quality of life for millions of people in the region.

As the ZRA continues to engage with stakeholders and update the necessary studies, the authority remains committed to ensuring the Batoka Gorge Hydroelectric Scheme is developed in an environmentally sustainable manner. The project is expected to create numerous job opportunities during the construction phase and provide a reliable source of clean energy for decades to come.

Key Takeaways

  • ZRA engaging stakeholders to finalize 2,400MW Batoka Gorge hydroelectric project
  • $4.5B project previously awarded to GE and China's Power Construction Corp
  • Pandemic and funding issues delayed project, now targeting 2025 tender process
  • Project to provide equal power to Zimbabwe and Zambia, address energy deficits
  • ZRA developing upstream reservoirs to manage floods, mitigate climate change