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Wednesday, 16 May 2018
Chinese, US firms in joint bid for Batoka
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.
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,
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 ZambeziRiver,
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 ZambeziRiver
and is expected to improve the two countries’ power supply, currently in
deficit and also feed into the Southern African Power Pool.
demand for energy are forecast to more than double by 2035.