Monday, 13 July 2015

Batoka hydro-power project feasibility study nears completion

LUSAKA (Reuters) - Zambia and Zimbabwe will conclude a study on a planned 2,400 megawatts (MW) hydro-electric scheme between them by the end of this year, the chief executive of the company in charge of the project said on Friday.
Munyaradzi Munodawafa said Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) was updating the engineering feasibility studies and undertaking those on environmental and social impact.
"It is anticipated that these studies will be completed at the end of 2015," Munodawafa told Reuters.
"ZRA will provide an update on the market response to the project in the first half of 2016 where it will indicate the likely dates when financial close will be expected."
Ernst and Young has been engaged as the financial and legal advisors for the development of for the Batoka Hydro-Electric Project, he said.
The financial and legal transaction advisory service was critical to the development of the project as the consultant needed to analyse the different transaction structures, he said.
"The financial and legal advisors component completes the list of the vital preparatory works," Munodawafa said.
Plans for the Batoka hydro-electric power plant were expanded to 2,400 from 1,600 MW following a recent study.
The completion of the project, which will involve the construction of a dam and a hydro power plant on the Zambezi River, is expected to ease an electricity shortage in the two countries and southern Africa.

The cost, previously estimated at $2.5 billion, would be known after the feasibility study, which would be done after Ernst Young completed its work, Munodawafa said.

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