British firm wins Batoka impact assessment bid

British firm wins Batoka impact assessment bid

BULAWAYO, April 10 (The Source) – A British consultancy has won the bid to carry out a mandatory Environmental Impact Assessment on the proposed $3 billion Batoka Gorge Hydro Electricity Power Station project, a source familiar with the developments said on Thursday.

Britain’s Environmental Resources Management (ERM), which has operations in more than 40 countries, will carry out the assessment through its South African office, a Zambezi River Authority official told The Source.

The ZRA manages Zimbabwe and northern neighbour Zambia’s joint ownership of the project.

“ERM charged $1.4 million for the project,” said the source, following a recommendation by Project Steering Committee when it met two months ago in Livingstone, Zambia.

The committee is a joint Zimbabwe-Zambia team formed to spearhead the Batoka power project which will see the construction of two power stations with a combined capacity of 1600 megawatts to be shared equally between the two countries.

The British company is expected to complete the project in 12 months.

However, the official said the project could take longer because of the need for a resettlement action plan for the transmission lines which can only be completed after route surveys have been provided.