THE US$2,8 billion Batoka Gorge hydro-power station has been given priority status and would be executed by 2020, according to an infrastructure blue-print for the continent. The project has been on the cards for a number of years due to funding constraints and has capacity to generate 1600 MW to be shared equally by Zimbabwe and Zambia.
According to the Program-me for Infrastructure Development in Africa (Pida), a brainchild of the African Development Bank, African Union and the New Partnership for Africa's Development, the project has been included among 49 others valued at US$68 billion that have to be completed within eight years. The projects are in four sectors: energy, water, transport connectivity and information communication technologies.
The Batoka hydro project involves the construction of a dam and a hydro-power plant on the Zambezi River.
The detailed feasibility studies, which were completed in 1993, indicated that it is economically and technically feasible to construct four 200 MW units on the Zimbabwean side. If executed, the project would alleviate the power shortages currently prevailing in the country.