Announcements to move forward development of several hydro projects in Zambia

A recent announcement published by Bulawayo 24 indicates several hydro projects are moving forward in Zambia.

Through an estimated $4 billion investment, the governments of Zambia and Zimbabwe have partnered to explore developing the 1,600-MW Batoka Gorge hydropower project. It was reported that President Edgar Lungu made that announcement during the opening of the Fifth Session of the Eleventh National Assembly.

Work on Batoka Gorge, on the Zambezi River in Southern province between Zambia and Zimbabwe, is expected to begin by 2019.

Per the Zambezi River Authority website, the project will be located about 54 km downstream from Victoria Falls. It will consist of a roller-compacted-concrete gravity arch dam 181 m high that impounds a reservoir with a catchment area of 508,000 square km. The site will feature two underground powerhouses, one on each river bank, each with a capacity of 800 MW.

Lungu also reportedly said the government was working with the private sector to expand capacity of the Kafue Gorge Lower hydro station to 750 MW. This facility is expected to be complete in 2018.

In addition, the government is upgrading the 12-MW Lusiwasi project in Serenje to 101 MW once it is complete.

And a 150-MW hydro station is being built at Kalungwichi in Luapula province by a private sector company.

The goal of all this work, per Lungu, is to increase the availability of electricity for domestic and industrial use in Zambia.

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Elizabeth Ingram is content director for the Hydro Review website and HYDROVISION International. She has more than 17 years of experience with the hydroelectric power industry. Follow her on Twitter @ElizabethIngra4 .

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