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Zim & Zam Presidents Discuss "Reviving" Batoka Hydroelectric Scheme Project

Zim & Zam Presidents Discuss

Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Zambia President Hakainde Hichilema this week discussed the revival of the Batoka Gorge Hydro Power Project. According to reports, the project is expected to supply 1200MW each to Zimbabwe and Zambia. 

The discussion by the two presidents took place on the sidelines of the 42nd Sadc summit held in Kinshasa.

Said Mnangagwa about the meeting:

“We took this opportunity that we are both here in Kinshasa and we are neighbours. We decided to have a chat to share on issues of interest between Zimbabwe and Zambia, in particular, you all know about the Batoka Gorge which is a joint project between Zambia and Zimbabwe, so we were discussing how to move forward.”

Said Hichilema:

“We had a good catch-up meeting and discussed issues around the Batoka Gorge hydropower project which has been on and off, we would like to revive it, it is green energy. I really want to thank His Excellency President Mnangagwa for taking the initiative for us to have a catch up meeting here and agree on how to move forward.”

Zimbabwe has had a significant serious power deficit for more than a decade owing to limited generation capacity and insufficient money to import power.

This has meant load-shedding which has affected both consumers and businesses. This has resulted in a trend by Zimbabwean households and businesses to resort to private solar installations for their needs. 

According to ZPC, the country currently generates 1250MW of power from the Kariba Hydro Power Station (873MW) and Hwange Thermal Power Station (377MW).

The proposed Batoka Hydro-electric Scheme is located on the Zambezi River, about 54 km downstream of the Victoria Falls, across the boundary between Zimbabwe and Zambia. The project is administered by the Zambezi Rivery Authority, which is equally owned by the two governments.

A brief historical timeline of Batoka Gorge Hydro Power Project

  • 1904: Geological investigations for potential sites for a Hydroelectric station commenced. 
  • 1972: Only 7 decades later, further investigations identify Batoka Gorge, Devil’s Gorge and Mupata Gorge as potential sites for the project. The Batoka Gorge is identified as the most suitable site for a potential hydropower scheme. This work is carried out by the Central African Power Corporation with the aim of identfying possible power sources to meet the power demands of Zambia and Zimbabwe.
  • 1981, 1982, 1983, 1989: Three more phases of site/geological investigations are done resulting in a new preferred Batoka Gorge site (12 km upstream of that defined in 1972). 
  • 1992, 1993, 1998: Zambezi River Authority (ZRA), a successor of the Central African Power Corporation, commissions the Batoka Gorge Joint Venture Consultants (BJVC) to carry out a feasibility study for the proposed Batoka Gorge Hydropower scheme. An Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) for this proposed scheme was also undertaken as part of this feasibility study, and to address gaps identified
  • 2012: A memorandum of understanding (MoU) is signed between Zambia and Zimbabwe to develop the BHES project, in February. Zimbabwe had agreed payment of over $70 million to Zambia in settlement of outstanding debts relating to the division and sale of joint assets following the break up of the short-lived Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, which united Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi (the Federation was established in 1953 and lasted only ten years). The settlement of this debt had, until now, been a stumbling block to the development of the Batoka Gorge Dam project.
  • 2014: In 2014, the ZRA initiated some further studies on the proposed Batoka Gorge Hydro Electric Scheme.
  • 2015: Zambezi River Authority engages Ernst & Young as financial and legal transaction advisors for the development of the Batoka Gorge Hydro Electric Scheme. The company is charged with developing a “bankable” structure for the protect’s financing.
  • 2019: A consortium led by Power Construction Corporation of China (Power China) and General Electric (GE) is selected as the contractor for the Batoka Gorge hydropower project July.

There’s been some concern from the tourism sector that the Batoka Hydro Power project will disrupt the tourism industry by “drowning one of the most highly regarded sections of commercially operated white-water rafting in the world under its waters.”

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21 Comments

g 1 month ago

over a century of planning chabuda hapana. zvakaomal


g 1 month ago

@pk avo ndovasingambozvikwanise manje. zvakutoda mukomana

pk 1 month ago

Rhodes, Garfield Todd, Smith, Mugabe vakasiyawo zvakadaro. zvakutoda vaMnangagwa chete chete

Angry citizen 1 month ago

Come 20 years later, hapana chinenge chabuda, kungotaura nekutaura but hapana zvinobuda, taneta nawo mazi promises pasina chinobuda, zvakungoda new gvmnt izvi, taneta


Chikumba 1 month ago

Chero takakuisa hapana fut chaunoita gvt ikutomboita zvinobatika,,,, maroads, new town and alot 2 come


Angry citizen 1 month ago

Unodya road here iwe,idziwo idzi, haa tirikure nekusimudzira nyika, road idzi dziri kugadzirwa nemari dzedu dzema taxes, town ipi iyoyi yakasiiwa na smith, shine ur eyes umwe wangu, magetsi hakuna, mvura hakuna, ma civil servants varikupihwa maei isingakwanise kubhadhara kana rent, izvozvi ma xls akuda kuvhurwa apa ma bording schools arikuda usd unoti vanoiwanepi, svinura

kkkk 1 month ago

kkkkkkkk kugadzira maroads kwavari kuita it's their duty not an achievement hapana chekusekerera pane zvirikuitwa na government apa

, Dott 1 month ago

Nyika ikuvakwa nevene vayo,,,,,


Mukaranga 1 month ago

Ko Tokwe Mukosi project how far?


Solliy b Official 1 month ago

Hakuna chirikuitwa anongori mashoko kuwawata chete ... Inonzi zanu pf... Mbavha kupera

Bossolona 1 month ago

Zambia has excess electricity, they aren't probably focused on joint venture with broke zanu-mbabwe


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Doug 1 month ago

1904 we we knew nothing about electricity, and it was the white settlers who discovered where electricity could be produced from. Their offspring discovered that Harare will have to use water from Kunzvi Dam. We were overjoyed and we chased them away before they could do it for us. It is interesting the country that benefitted the most from the Federation still owes money from one of the countries. We should not only be good at talking and keeping records, but not in a position to do the real work. 1904, and, nearly more than 120 years later, we still struggle with electricity and the rural population only see electricity in towns, despite the Rural Electrification Agency having existed for a very long time.


dispenser 1 month ago

Nate Hichilema anoshaya munhu wekutaura naye


Gwedu 1 month ago

ED kunyangira Zambian democracy for own benefit😅😅😅😅Mbavha


... 1 month ago

Good initiative


🗣🗣🗣 1 month ago

🇿🇲 motongoita mega, Zimbabwe 🇿🇼 izvozvi ikutanda botso


Tintin 1 month ago

😂😂😂

Kule Dhambi 1 month ago

Saka apa mofunga kuti mungaita dhiri rei ne Zambia iri kutoshaya pekuisa zhenje rayo rawandisa?


spectacular splendour 1 month ago

tigarirei pasi zivai kuti you are cursed to be Zimbabwean chetechete nyangwe mukapihwa 100bn na Burden ana Justice Mayor Wadyajena vanongoita musoro nayo imi misara musoro chete get away maZimbabweans


Ghostface Killah 1 month ago

iwewe ku**** kwako ne zanu yako

WILLIAM SONBOY CHINEMBIRI 1 month ago

Zimbabwe must put the yoke on the shoulder and push Zambia through persuasion to start this Batonga Gorge green energy project.

It had died down with the arrival of President HAKAINDE HICHILEMA of Zambia on the the scene.

President of Zambia has no worries with electricity. He has over 1200 mg which he intends to sell to South Africa and Zimbabwe. Therefore, I suggest that our His Excellency Advocate President ED Mnangagwa goes to Zambia to discuss this issue further with the Zambian President insteady of waiting for sidelines discussions.

I know that President ED Mnangagwa is a listening President. He will one day arrange a state visit to Zambia.

[ GO HIS EXCELLENCY ADVOCATE PRESIDENT ED MNANGAGWA GO ].

[ IF HIS EXCELLENCY, CAN NOT ARRANGE A STATE VISIT TO ZAMBIA NOW, THEN ADVOCATE NELSON CHAMISA WILL ARRANGE ONE WHEN HE TAKES OVER AT 2023 HARMONISED ELECTIONS ].

Yours sincerely
William Sonboy CHINEMBIRI
[ THE BUSH LAWYER ].



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