Razel-BEC of France has been awarded the contract for plunge pool reshaping works at the Kariba Dam in Zambia.

Secretary to Treasury Zambia, Fredson Yamba, signed the contract yesterday, endorsed by the Head of the European Union Delegation to Zambia, Ambassador Alessandro Mariani, at a formal signing ceremony held at the Kariba dam wall.

The contract signing sets in motion the plunge pool reshaping works – the first component of the Kariba Dam Rehabilitation Project. The rehabilitation project is being funded by four co-operating partners:  the European Union, the World Bank, the African Development Bank and the government of Sweden, together with the Zambezi River Authority, which operates, maintains and manages the Kariba Dam on behalf of the governments of Zambia and Zimbabwe. 

Hon. Felix Mutati, in his keynote address, acknowledged the support of all the co-operating partners, in particular the European Union whose grant to Zambia is earmarked specifically for the plunge pool reshaping. He said that the Kariba Dam Rehabilitation Project will ensure that the dam is operated in compliance with international dam safety standards, adding that the successful operation of the Kariba Dam was a fine example of bi-lateral co-operation between the two sovereign states.

Speaking at the sevent, Ambassador Alessandro Mariani, Head of the European Union Delegation to Zambia, confirmed the European Union’s EUR 64 million investment into the reshaping of the plunge pool as part of a joint Zambia European Union strategy to improve access to clean, reliable and affordable energy. For this purpose, the European Union set aside EUR 244 million in the National Indicative Programme for Zambia for the period 2014 to 2020.  The plunge pool reshaping, the first phase of the Kariba Dam Rehabilitation Project, is one of the first projects financed under this programme.

“The plunge pool reshaping will contribute to the improved performance and longevity of the dam,” emphasized Eng. Munyaradzi Munodawafa, Chief Executive of the Zambezi River Authority.  “Enlarging the plunge pool will reduce the impact of water jetting resulting from spilling and therefore slow the retrogressive erosion of the dam foundation.  The reshaping which will take approximately three years to complete, has been planned to have the least possible impact on the operation and management of the Kariba Dam and the energy supply to both Zambia and Zimbabwe.”

The plunge pool reshaping works, which will be implemented by the Zambezi River Authority on behalf of the governments of Zambia and Zimbabwe, will commence in March 2017 when Razel-BEC mobilises to site. The contractor’s first tasks will be the setting up of a construction camp site which will include site offices, accommodation, workshops; construction of access roads to the plunge pool and the construction of a cofferdam.