The implementation process for a US$4 billion hydro power project being undertaken by the governments of Zimbabwe and Zambia has started ahead of its targeted commissioning in 2024.
The Batoka Gorge Hydro Electric Scheme (BGHES) which is located across the boundary between Zimbabwe and Zambia along the Zambezi River is expected to provide reliable power sources at a combined capacity of 2,400 megawatts.
The project which has in the past few years been lagging behind its schedule is, however, likely to receive a major boost as governments of the two countries are now forging ahead with capital mobilisation initiatives.
Speaking at the BGHES investors conference media launch, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development Cde Patrick Chinamasa said the project is now taking shape.
“We are forging ahead with this noble project that will economically empower the societies,” he said.
The Minister of Energy and Power Development Dr Samuel Undenge says financing institutions, developers and contractors have also reaffirmed their commitment towards ensuring that the proposed project becomes a reality.
“It was just a matter of time before we could finalise the whole procedures of this project,” said Dr Undenge.
The Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) which has been mandated with the responsibility of the project is confident the BGHES scheme will also economically empower the peoples of Zimbabwe and Zambia, according to its chief executive officer Mr Munyaradzi Munodawafa.
“We are doing our best to ensure it is a reality and all work is being modelled along the efficiency of the plan,” Mr Munodawafa said.
The project’s feasibility studies were commissioned in 1992. The preparatory process which was done by the World Bank is understood to be nearing completion with the submissions of the final reports paving way for the construction works.