Zambia is set to start constructing a new power station in collaboration with Zimbabwe by January 2016. This is according to Zambia’s Mines, Energy and Water Development Minister Christopher Yaluma. The new station will generate 1600MW of power.
The new power station will be located at Batoka and will be of beneficial to the both countries. The initial cost of the project was set at US $2.5bn and will involve construction of a dam.
The power project, involving construction of two hydroelectric power stations each with capability of producing a total capacity of 800 MW each, will be constructed 54Km downstream Victoria falls.
The minister said the Batoka Hydro Electric Scheme project would be undertaken till 2021 or 2022, and feasibility studies are due this July. The two countries will then have financial advisors to facilitate moving forward of the power construction project.
Provisions for funding of the Batoka Hydro Electric Scheme and rehabilitation of the Kariba dam were also approved in the ZRA 2015 budget.
“We have secured the funding on papers to rehabilitate Kariba Dam. Grants are almost tripling and we are also supposed to get more loans.
“We should start rehabilitating the Dam in the next four to five months particularly around September. We are very much on track as this is a very key project and we will ensure to deliver on that project,” he said.
The country is joining Zimbabwe in the rehabilitation of the Kariba hydrodam, and US$294m has been pumped by the World Bank, European Union (EU), the Government of Sweden and the African Development Bank. The two source power from the dam.
Studies on the Kariba dam revealed it was facing possible collapse as a result of corrosion of under-water-weight walls and blockage of water passage. A collapse would mean each of the two countries spend US $5bn. Rehabilitation is set to kick off in 2016.