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Zambia, Zimbabwe to start building Batoka power plant next year

Feasibility studies for the project are almost complete.

Zambia and Zimbabwe will start building the 2 400 MW Batoka Gorge hydro power plant next year, a company jointly owned by the two governments said on Tuesday.

The Batoka project involves construction of a dam, powerhouses, roads, transmission infrastructure and houses in both Zambia and Zimbabwe, the Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) said in a statement.

Feasibility studies are almost complete and a developer for the project is expected to be engaged by the end of this year, it said.

“Once engaged, the developer is expected to commence works in the last quarter of 2020,” the statement said.

In February, ZRA short-listed US, European and Chinese companies to build the Batoka Gorge hydro power plant, Zambia’s ministry of finance said in statement.

Those short-listed are a consortium of General Electric and Power Construction Corporation of China, Salini Impregilo of Italy and a joint venture of Chinese firms Three Gorges Corporation, China International and Water Electric Corporation and China Gezhouba Group Company. 

The project will use a Build-Operate-Transfer financing model and place no fiscal strain on either government as no sovereign guarantees will be required. 

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Zambia and Zimbabwe, 2 countries with a recent history of not honoring agreements. The financiers of this dam will learn this lesson again.

Maybe they should register a mortgage bond on both countries?

End of comments.

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