Zimbabwe, Zambia seek studies of 1,600-MW Batoka Gorge

The Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) invites expressions of interest in performing a feasibility study and environmental and social impact assessments for the 1,600-MW Batoka Gorge hydroelectric project on the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia. Responses to two solicitations are due September 28.

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.

Initial designs proposed a roller-compacted-concrete gravity arch dam, a reservoir of 4.08 million cubic meters, and an 800-MW powerhouse on each side of the dam. Each would have four 200-MW vertical-shaft Francis turbine-generators.

In the first of two solicitations, ZRA seeks expressions of interest and qualifications from consultants to review and update previous studies of Batoka Gorge and to help produce a full bankable feasibility study and tender design for optimal layout of the project. The study is to be used to help source financing for the project.

In a second solicitation, ZRA seeks expressions of interest and qualifications from consultants to undertake a comprehensive environmental and social impact assessment of the project. Consultants will be required to review and update previous preparatory studies, evaluate the design, and develop the assessments as well as environmental management plans and resettlement action plans.

Expressions of interest may be submitted to the addresses below for each solicitation by 4 p.m. September 28, in person or by mail, fax, or e-mail. 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; Copy to David Mazvidza, Director Projects and Dam Safety, E-mail: mazvidza@zaraho.org.zm.

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