Two Hydro-Electric plants to be constructed on the Zambezi
Plans are underway to construct two Hydro-Electric plants on the Zambezi and rehabilitate Kariba dam by December 2022. This will secure the reliability of Kariba complex and provide long-term safety.
The Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) said that through development of the Batoka Gorge Hydro-Electric Scheme (BGHES) and the Devil’s Gorge Hydro-Eclectic Scheme the Zambezi river will be well utilised.
The ZRA are committed to the speedy implementation of the hydro-electric plants and the dam’s rehabilitation project entailing refurbishment of the six spillway gates and reshaping of the plunge pool.
The ZRA board said that despite the various hurdles experienced, they are determined to complete the rehabilitation of the plunge pool in four years. The board has noted progress in reshaping the plunge pool. Preparations for cofferdam installation between the plunge pool and the outlets to Kariba power station have already been made by Razel Bec, the contracted engineering company who are already on the site.
Once complete, the new plants will generate 1.6GW of electricity, or about a third of the two countries’ combined generating capacity each with an installed capacity of 800MW, one on the Zambian side and another on the Zimbabwean side of the border. The dam would be 181m high, and would hold back 1.7 billion cubic metres of water. The construction period is expected to be between 10 and 13 years.
The project has moved forward following an offer by the African subsidiary of General Electrics to develop the scheme on a build, operate, transfer basis.