AfDB provides support for Batoka Hydroelectric project

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The African Development Bank (AfDB) is advising on how funds can be secured for the construction of the 2,400MW Batoka Gorge Hydroelectric Power Project to commence.

Public relations and communications manager at the Zambezi River Authority (ZRA), Elizabeth Karonga, stated that the bank is advising the authority on raising funds for the project and it is likely that it will reach financial closure by the end of the year.

According to the Southern Times, Karonga said the engineering and legal assessments for the power plant were successfully carried out in 2016.

“The legal and financial advisory studies were completed end of July 2016. This also applies to the environmental and social impact assessment studies as well as the legal and financial advisory studies,” Karonga said.

Karonga said studies have shown that 6,000 jobs will be created once the construction of the Batoka Hydroelectric Project between Zambia and Zimbabwe commences.

The project is estimated to cost $4 billion. Read more: Progress shown at Batoka Gorge hydropower dam in Zimbabwe

Batoka Hydroelectric Project

Media noted that the project has faced resistance from local communities, who felt that it had the potential of negatively impacting the Victoria Falls.

However, the chief executive officer of the ZRA, Munyaradzi Munodawafa, said feasibility studies undertaken on the site have allayed environmental fears to the Victoria Falls, which is upstream.

“The reservoir will be fully contained in the gorge, no resettlement is required for the dam, but may be required for the transmission aspects of the project,” said Munodawafa.