Batoka Power Project narrows bidders to three

By Rudo Saungweme

As the construction of the Batoka Power Project is set to commence, Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) has narrowed the number of bidders from nine to three, Harare Post has learnt.

A source has revealed that an Inter-Ministerial Committee (IC) of officials from Ministries of Energy from Zimbabwe and Zambia met in Livingstone, Zambia, from 8 February to 20 February 2019 where they deliberated upon the capacities of the nine prequalified bidders and decided to present three bidders to the Ministers of Energy from Zimbabwe and Zambia.

“The council of Ministers approved the shortlisting of China Gezhouba Group of Companies, China International Water and Electric Cooperation and China Three Gorges, a joint venture of Power Construction of China and General Electrical and Salini Impregilo, the contractor for the Tokwe Mukosi Dam.

“Feasibility studies for the Batoka Project are expected to be completed by end of March 2019. Cost of the feasibility study is approximately US$6 million. The 2 400 Megawatt (MW) plant would be financed as a 100 percent Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) project,” the source revealed.

Reports suggest that a tariff of between USc3.5 to USc4 per Kilowatt hour (kWh) would be acceptable to both Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Batoka Power Project will be located downstream from the magnificent Victoria Falls on the Zambezi River. The huge hydropower dam would create a large reservoir that would impact a UNESCO World Heritage Site, reduce river-based tourism, and drown habitat for endangered bird species.