The Zambezi River Authority Council of Ministers has shortlisted three foreign developers for the Batoka George Hydro Electric Scheme.

According to a joint statement released, Wednesday, by Ministry of Finance spokesperson Chileshe Kandeta and Ministry of Energy Director of Energy Arnold Simwaba, the three shortlisted firms were: a Consortium of General Electric of USA and Power Construction Corporation of China; Salini Impregilo of Italy and a joint venture comprising (i) Three Gorges Corporation (ii) China International and Water Electric Corporation, and; (iii) China Gezhouba Group Company Limited.

And in a joint communique delivered at the end of the meeting held, Wednesday, at the David Livingstone Hotel in Livingstone and read by Council of Minister’s Chairman, who is also Minister of Energy Matthew Nkhuwa, the Ministers stated that the project will be schemed on a Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) financing model and will not put any fiscal strain on either the Zambian and Zimbabwean government as no sovereign guarantees will be required.

The Ministers stated that three preparatory studies which include, (i) engineering feasibility study; (ii) environmental and social impact assessment and (iii) legal and financial transaction advisory services, will be completed by end of the first quarter of 2019.

The Ministers also agreed that the request for proposals will be launched by April, 2019, while the final developer for the gorge will be appointed by September, 2019.

The other members of the Zambian delegation were Attorney General Likando Kalaluka, Ministry of Finance Permanent Secretary for Economic Management and Finance Mukuli Chikuba and Ministry of Energy Permanent Secretary Brigadier General (Rtd) Emeldah Chola.