US$53,6m for Kariba Dam spillway rehab
FRENCH companies, Freyssinet International and GE Hydro France have clinched a $53,6 million deal to rehabilitate Kariba hydro-electric dam’s spillway, according to the Zambezi River Authority (ZRA).
The dam supplies electricity to Zimbabwe and Zambia and the project will help ensure continued energy security for the two neighbouring countries.
Freyssinet International is a civil engineering company while GE Hydro France is a subsidiary of the General Electric, a United States-based multinational conglomerate, which was awarded a tender for the US$4,2 billion Batoka Gorge hydropower station construction project.
ZRA said that Freyssinet International and GE Hydro France clinched a US$53,6 million deal to rehabilitate the Kariba dam spillway.
“Rehabilitation of the spillway will ensure the safe long-term operation of the Kariba Dam for many years to come, and the continued contribution of the dam to the energy security and economic prosperity of Zambia and Zimbabwe,” ZBCtv reported, quoting ZRA. The dam is jointly and equally owned by the two neighbouring countries.
The authority said contractors of the Kariba dam spillway project have up to 2023 to complete the programme and have already started to install equipment on site.
According to Afrik21, rehabilitation of the dam will require a total investment of US$294 million. Financing is provided by the ZRA through equity and loans from the World Bank, the African Development Bank (AfDB), and the European Union.
The spillway consists of six gates located in the upper part of the dam’s concrete wall. Water levels are only five metres above the minimum operating level instead of the usual eight metres at this time of year.
Due to low dam levels at Kariba, the hydropower station, which is the country’s major power plant was, as of yesterday, producing only 320MW.
The power plant, which was commissioned in 1962 with an installed capacity of 666MW and subsequently upgraded to 750MW, now has an installed capacity of 1 050MW following the station’s extension project that was completed last year. — ZBCtv/Business Chronicle