The Batoka Gorge Hydroelectric Power Station got a major boost after the African Development Bank (AfDB) made a commitment to release $13 million that would be used to complete feasibility studies.
The power station is projected to produce 2 400 MW which will be shared equally by Zimbabwe and Zambia. The scope of the Batoka project will now be changed from a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) to a Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) model. This was revealed by the director of power development in the Ministry of Energy and Power Development, Engineer Benson Moyo.
Speaking to The Sunday Mail on the progress made so far on the Batoka Project, Eng. Moyo said
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The (respective) ministers from the two countries met in December and they agreed that they are going to consult with their Heads of State on the project.
The project will now be operated as a Build, Operate (and) Transfer. Initially, we wanted to operate it as a Public-Private Partnership (PPP).
We have already met General Electric, who expressed their interest. However, they are not the only company that has expressed interest, there are other European and Asian countries that have done so as well.
We are expecting the project to create 10 000 jobs for the two countries, but there will also be a requirement for materials. For example, there will be high demand for cement; this means indirect jobs will be created.
The plant will help the country edge towards self-sustenance in terms of energy. This festive season we did not even import any electricity, we used electricity produced locally.