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Six firms shortlisted for Batoka power project

June 2013
THE ZAMBEZI River Authority has shortlisted six international companies for the construction of the Batoka Gorge hydropower station.

The ZRA, a statutory body owned jointly by Zambia and Zimbabwe and responsible for managing the Zambezi River, invited applications in December 2012 from experienced companies to bid for the construction of the hydropower station. The deadline for bids was 8 February this year.

“Initially, the authority shortlisted 26 international investors, but they have been whittled down to six,” said Patson Mbiriri, permanent secretary in the Zimbabwean Ministry of Energy and Power Development, during the Zimbabwe-South Africa Investment and Trade Conference held in April.

Mbiriri said the contract would be awarded on a Build, Operate and Transfer basis but gave no timeframe for the awarding the contract.

Located on the Zambezi River, about 54 km downstream of Victoria Falls between Zambia and Zimbabwe, the proposed power station is expected to produce up to 1,600 megawatts (MW), which would make a significant contribution towards meeting energy needs in both countries and the SADC region.

Zambia and Zimbabwe will share the power equally, but as the two countries are members of the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP), much of the electricity would be fed into the regional power grid.

This would allow the installed capacity at the planned station to be realized across the SADC region. All mainland SADC Member States with the exception of Angola, Malawi and Tanzania, are interconnected through SAPP.