US$223 million power line gains investment interest

ZiZaBoNa 223mn power line developmentThe US$223mn power transmission inter-connector development that hopes to link Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana and Namibia (ZiZaBoNa) has attained interest from five investors, following a roundtable event held in Swakopmund, Namibia

The project, which is part of Southern African Development Community’s (SADC) regional integration, is intended to increase power trading amongst participating nations, in addition to helping decongest the existing central transmission corridor that currently passes through Zimbabwe.

The total required funding for the cross-country project is US$223mn – US$67mn equity and US$156mn debt financing. The five potential backers together have pledged more than US$160mn.

Potential bank investors include the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) who has pledged US$50mn, the French Development Agency with a sum between US$30mn and US$50mn, as well as the African Development Bank that has committed to pick up 40 per cent of the required debt financing.

The first phase of the project will see the construction of a 120km 330kV line, which will ultimately have a transmission capacity of 430kV. It is expected to start from the Zimbabwe Hwange Power Station and extend to Victoria Falls, from where it will travel to a sub-station in Livingstone, Zambia.

Construction of a 300km 330kV line, spanning from Livingstone through Botswana’s Pandamatenga and into Katima Mulilo, Namibia, will make up the project’s second phase.

The ZiZaBoNa project will be organised as a special purpose vehicle, to be incorporated as a company in Namibia and has a completion date of 2015.

Under a 2008 agreement, four utility companies - the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA), Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO), Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) and Namibia Power Company (NamPower) – will each take 20 per cent of the equity.

Nawa Mutumweno



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