Kariba Dam wall set for $294m rehab

THE Kariba Dam wall will starting next year undergo a $294 million rehabilitation expected to last eight years, that will focus on the spill gates and plunge pool, a senior Government official has said.

Built in the 1950s, Kariba Dam borders Zimbabwe and Zambia, and has since then been using the same six floodgates and plunge pool.

Energy and Power Development permanent secretary Partson Mbiriri said development partners would finance the exercise.

a�?The spill gates remain the original spills gates and mechanisms for opening them have remained the same to the extent that it has become necessary to refurbish them,a�? Mbiriri said.

a�?We are fortunate that the World Bank, African Development Bank, European Union and Sweden are actively interested in financing the works,a�? he added.

Mbiriri said the plunge pool will be remodelled first at a cost of $125 million while the remainder will fund the spill gates re-design.

a�? . . . the plunge pool is affected when the spill gates are opened. Over the years it has been eroding part of the river and if allowed to continue it threatens the integrity of the foundation of the dam wall,a�? said Mbiriri.

a�?Works are expected to start on plunge pools in the first half of next year.a�?

He said re-designing of the floodgates would take about two years while the rehabilitation would be done one gate at a time to allow power generation companies in both Zimbabwe and Zambia, situated at the banks of Kariba Dam, to continue operating.

The two countries are currently generating an estimated 1 600 MW from their operations in Kariba.

a�?Each gate will take about a year, which is six years and if you add the design time of two years it will take eight years,a�? said Mbiriri.

Both Zimbabwe and Zambia are currently expanding power generation facilities in Kariba. a�� BH24