In southern Africa, construction of the Batoka Gorge Dam hydropower project, to be conducted by the governments of Zambia and Zimbabwe, is scheduled to commence this year.
Local media reported that the Zimbabwe River Authority (ZRA) announced that engineering feasibility studies should be complete in July, together with the environmental and social impact assessment studies, allowing for the Batoka Gorge Dam hydropower power project to commence.
A statement from the ZRA said: “The legal and financial advisory studies will also be complete in the course of this year. This part of the studies will come up with recommendations on various options for financing the project, which is estimated to cost $3.5 billion.”
According to the media, the magnitude of this hydropower dam is estimated to be one of Africa’s tallest and would create a large reservoir with the capacity to supply 60% of the continent’s electricity needs.
Batoka Gorge Dam – third largest hydropower
Experts believe that the Batoka George Dam project would be the third largest hydropower development on the Zambezi River mainstream, after Kariba and Cabora Bassa in Mozambique.
ZRA highlighted that once completed, the hydropower station will have the capacity to generate around 2,400MW of power that would be shared equally by the two countries.
According to the media, two power stations are scheduled for construction on the northern and southern sides of the dam, similar to that of the Kariba Dam.
The project is expected to take approximately 10 years to reach full completion.
The media also reported that the objective of this project is to increase power generation and capacity between Zambia and Zimbabwe, while reducing power outages and reliance on coal-fired power stations.