The African Development Bank has reaffirmed its commitment to be the lead financier and co-ordinator of the $4 billion Batoka Gorge Electric Scheme in Zambia and Zimbabwe.
This comes after Zimbabwe and Zambia jointly appointed the financial institution as the lead co-ordinator in development of the hydroelectric scheme. AFDB vice president, Power, Energy, Climate and Green Growth Sector Complex Amadou Hott confirmed the development recently.
“The Batoka Scheme is in line with the objectives of AfDB’s New Deal on Energy for Africa.
“The Bank has been working together with Zambia and Zimbabwe on major energy projects such as the transformative Itezhi Power Generation and Transmission Project, and rehabilitation of power infrastructure in Zimbabwe, among others,” said Mr Hott.
“The Batoka Scheme is in line with the objectives of AfDB’s New Deal on Energy for Africa,” he said.
Mr Hott said the target for the new deal for universal access to energy by 2025 requires the implementation of transformative regional projects such as Batoka. The Batoka 2 400MW scheme will develop, operate, monitor and maintain hydropower projects along the Zambezi River shared by Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The AFDB is implementing the new deal on Energy for Africa, to light up and power Africa, with the aspirational objective of achieving universal access to energy by 2025.
The Bank will invest $12 billion in the power sector over the next five years and aims to leverage $45-50 billion from the private sector. The AFDB has been at the forefront of spearheading development projects in the country.
This year, the bank committed about $26,5 million toward developmental projects for Zimbabwe which are consistent with Government’s priorities enshrined in its Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper.
The Alaska-Karoi Power Transmission Rehabilitation project which is valued at $18,4 million is also another project which the bank is currently driving in the country.
The project involves construction of an 85km long Single Lynx 132kV transmission line from Alaska 330/132kV substation to Karoi town. This project further entails the extension of Alaska substation by 50 metres on the western side in order to accommodate a new line bay.
The transmission line will terminate in the proposed Karoi 132/33kV substation to be constructed in Karoi town. The substation will have a footprint of 1,5 hectares and will be equipped with 2 x 30MVA transformers and 5 x 33kV line bays.
Once implemented, the project will result in increased electrification rate, improved access to safe water supplies, better health and sanitation facilities, increased agricultural productivity, reliable power supplies, improved power quality and improvement in the social well-being of the residents of Karoi town, Hurungwe and Makonde districts in which it is located.