21 January 2010 – The Batoka hydroelectric project is projected to increase electricity supply to the national grids of both Zimbabwe and Zambia by 800 megawatts each. The two governments have now agreed and arranged a council of ministers to meet on February 5th, 2010 in Zambia for further planning and discussion.
Next month’s meeting, comprised of energy and finance ministers will discuss funding and implementation of the project along with other energy related issues. It is estimated that the project will take approximately 4 to 5 years to complete and require investment of over US $2.5 billion.
In fact there are several discussions underway in Southern Africa to enhance the power and energy sectors including one deal with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Zimbabwe and Botswana for the construction of a fuel pipeline between Harare and Francistown. Other projects being implemented include an agreement between Zimbabwe and Botswana — through their respective power utilities —to refurbish the Bulawayo Thermal Power Station with potential to generate 90 MW of electricity, an agreement between Zimbabwe and Namibia that has resulted in NamPower rehabilitating Hwange Thermal Power Station, and currently Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana and Namibia are discussing yet another project to interconnect their transmission infrastructure and ease power sharing amongst their respective nations.