African Development Bank confirms funds for 800MW Zambian hydro project

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The African Development Bank (AfDB) has confirmed the funds for the development of 800MW Batoka Gorge hydro-electricity project in Zambia.

The investment will be a part of $20bn fund program launched by AfDB in collaboration with the African Union Commission and the New Partnership for Africa’s development. The bank has selected 49 infrastructure projects under the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (Pida) to invest under the vehicle.

Commenting on the developments, AfDB chief infrastructure economist Shem Simuyemba told NewsDay that the hydro project on the Zambezi River represents the kind of projects that the bank plans to invest under the program.

Initially, the bank plans to invest in those projects that can generate their own cash flow, added Simuyemba.

Though the feasibility studies of the $2.8bn project were completed in 1993.

“Batoka is one of the projects that have been identified by potential financiers as one that can generate its own income because it is linked to the Southern Africa Power Pool,” explained Simuyemba.

“This means that if you generate power in Batoka it will feed not Zambia and Zimbabwe only, but the whole of the SAPP,” Simuyemba said.

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