Zambezi authority seeks adviser for 1,600-MW Batoka Gorge hydro development project

The Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) invites expressions of interest from transaction financial/legal advisers to assist in the 1,600-MW Batoka Gorge hydroelectric development project on the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia. Responses are due March 15.

ZRA, which is jointly owned by Zimbabwe and Zambia, has applied for World Bank funding for the US$3 billion Batoka Gorge, to be built on the Zambezi River between Victoria Falls and Lake Victoria.

Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority reported last month that it will have paid Zambia US$40 million in back debts by the end of March to advance Batoka Gorge’s construction.

ZRA invited expressions of interest in February in development and construction of Batoka Gorge on a build-operate-transfer basis.

The agency now seeks a transaction financial/legal adviser to assess the legal and regulatory framework under which project construction and operation would take place, including social, economic, and environmental impacts. The adviser also would analyze different transaction structures including options for public or private funding and public-private partnerships with a view to recommending the most optimum bankable structure.

Initial designs for Batoka Gorge propose a 181-meter-tall roller-compacted-concrete gravity arch dam, radial gated crest-type spillway, a reservoir of 26 square kilometers, and an 800-MW powerhouse on each side of the dam. Each would have four 200-MW vertical-shaft Francis turbine-generators.

An executive summary of 1993 technical, legal, and environmental feasibility studies is available on the ZRA Internet site, www.zaraho.org.zm. Information may be obtained from the address below until March 8.

An original and three copies of expressions of interest in English, including experience, qualifications, and two most recent audited financial statements, are due to the address below by 4 p.m. March 15.

For information, contact Munyaradzi Munodawafa, Chief Executive Officer, Zambezi River Authority, Lusaka 10101 Zambia; (260) 211-228401; Fax: (260) 211-227498; E-mail: munodawafa@zaraho.org.zm; Internet: www.zaraho.org.zm.

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