From Volume 37, Issue 31 of EIR Online, Published Aug. 13, 2010
Africa News Digest

China Continues Dam Projects in Africa

Aug. 9 (EIRNS)—China continues to take the lead in African dam construction, with an hydroelectric project with Zimbabwe, as it continues help African nations build the kind of infrastructure coherent with a process of industrialization. The 55-year-old Kariba Dam has a 180-billion-cubic meter reservoir-capacity, one of the world's largest.

Noah Gwariro, managing director of the Zimbabwe Power Co., said in Harare in early June: "We have signed an agreement with China's Sinohydro Corp. for the expansion of Kariba by an additional two 150-MW units." The project is an upgrade to the plant's six existing turbines involving part replacements and modification of other turbine hydraulic components to improve efficiency and capacity. In addition, two new turbines are to be added. The upgrade is to add 1,300 MW to the plant's capacity of 750 MW. The project is to cost $400 million.

Straddling the Zambia-Zimbabwe border, the Kariba Dam is located in Kariba Gorge on the Zambezi River. Zambia, on the other end of the dam, has also undertaken an expansion of its power generation facility at the dam, in a $400 million deal with China, which began in 2009. This project also includes the installation of two new turbines.

Sinohydro is currently involved in at least 210 projects in at least 48 countries worldwide, according to environmentalist groups which are hostile to the activity.

In addition to the Kariba projects, other Chinese dam investments in sub-Saharan Africa include Bui, in Ghana; Dikgatlhong, in Botswana; Grand Poubara, in Gabon; Imboulou, in Congo-Brazzaville; Merowe, in Sudan; Tekeze, in Ethiopia, the Sangha area project in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Zungeru, in Nigeria.

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