Zambia’s President Edgar Lungu, has recently announced that Zambia partnered with Zimbabwe to explore the development of the USD 4 billion Batoka Gorge Hydro-Power Project located 54 km to the south from Victoria Falls on the Zambezi river, on the border with Zimbabwe.
The project which is meant to add a total capacity of 1,600 MW equally distributed between both countries, includes the construction of a 181 m high Roller Compacted Concrete gravity arch dam and two underground power stations on each side of the river with four 200 MW Francis turbines.
Construction works are expected to start by 2019 and will last for approximately six years according to the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC).
The project’s goal is to make Zambia a net exporter of power in the Sub Saharan region after meeting local needs according to Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), an independent organization that promotes regional economic integration through trade and investment.
This is why Zambia is also working with the private sector to expand capacity of the Kafue Gorge Lower Hydro Station, located close to the confluence of the Kafue and Zambezi rivers, from the current 450 MW installed to 750 MW by 2018, explained President Lungu when addressing its speech to the Eleventh National Assembly in Lusaka.
In addition, a 150 MW hydro station is being built in Luapula province in Zambia’s northern region, President Lungu added.
According to COMESA, Zambia counts with natural water reserves able to produce a potential hydro power capacity of about 6,000 MW, however so far only 1,948 MW has been installed across the country.
Hydro power accounts for 92% of the total installed capacity and 99% of the total electricity generated in Zambia.