AfDB wants local investors for $4bln Batoka power project

AfDB wants local investors for $4bln Batoka power project

HARARE, April 3 (The Source) – The African Development Bank (AFDB) says it wants local investors to participate in the financing of the construction of Batoka Gorge Hydro Electric Scheme.

Zimbabwe and Zambia, who are scouting for cash to build a  2,400 megawatt power plant on the Zambezi River which borders the two southern African nations, appointed the bank as lead financial adviser for the project estimated at $4 billion.

The two countries last week hosted an investors conference to court financiers for the development of the power plant which will be located 54 Kilometers downstream of the Victoria Falls.

AfDB Energy vice president Amadou Hott told the conference that the financing would involve a mix of grants and loans from development financial institutions and institutional investors.

“We do not want a transaction were big sovereign guarantees are required because that will delay the project, and the two governments already have budgetary constraints. We do not want to add more to the burden that the governments are facing, therefore the majority of the funding, not all will come from the private sector,” he said.

“We also want to crowd in institutional investors, private equity investors, but we also look at local investors. We want this project to be also owned by locals investors, the Zambians and the Zimbabweans should trust the project and put their long term savings in owning shares of the Special Purpose Vehicle that we will own the two power plants.”

Hott said the AfDB plans to invest $2 billion of its own resources in Africa’s energy sector by 2020 but did not sa how much it would put up for the Batoka plant.