State to woo investors for Batoka hydro project

ZAMBIA will next month hold a high- level regional investment conference to mobilise resources for the Batoka Gorge Hydro Electric Power Scheme which is estimated to cost US$ 6 billion, and produce 2, 400 megawatts, to be shared equally between Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Minister of Finance Felix Mutati has disclosed that among the speakers at the Batoka Regional Investment Conference will be the president of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina.
This is contained in a statement issued by the Ministry of Finance.
“The conference will also attract multilateral development financial institutions (DFI’s), bilateral cooperating partners and local, regional and multinational private sector organisations – with a view to marketing the financing requirements of the Batoka Gorge Hydro Electric Power Scheme through the Independent Power Producer Arrangement (IPPA),” the statement reads.
Mr Mutati recently attended the 34th session of the Zambezi River Authority Council of Ministers Meeting in Victoria Falls Town, Zimbabwe, where the council considered a report by the Batoka Gorge Hydro Electric Power Scheme transaction advisors, Ernst and Young, and mapped out a strategy on project development.
The council comprises ministers responsible for Finance and Energy from Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Commenting on the Development, Mr Mutati said about 6,000 jobs will be created during the construction phase and a further 1,200 permanent green jobs.
“The project will significantly increase base load power exports to the regional Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) energy generation mix. It will also help address the power crisis by reducing load-shedding and spurring additional investment in industrial development in the region,” he said.
Meanwhile, Minister of Energy David Mabumba has said the Batoka Gorge Hydro Electric Power Scheme is key to regional integration and an important component of the diversification and industrialisation drive which the Zambian government has embarked upon.
“To ensure that we increase our power pool for future uses and export, there is need for the Zambezi River Authority to think outside the box and explore solar and geo-thermo options for power generation,” Mr Mabumba said.

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