Government to maximise hydro power generation Vice President Dr Constantino Chiwenga is welcomed to the Nurek Hydro power Plant on Vakhsh River in Khatlon, Tajikistan for a tour of the power generation plant. — Picture: Mukudzei Chingwere

Mukudzei Chingwere in Dushanbe, Tajikistan

THE GOVERNMENT will engage neighbouring countries that are impacted by high potential rivers like Zambezi and Gairezi to look at the possibility of sustainably maximising hydro power generation.

Tajikistan, that boast of an impressive hydro power generation capacity, have held initial talks with Government and will send a delegation of experts to Zimbabwe to see how they can operationalise this. 

VP Chiwenga who is here for the Water Conference had a meeting with Tajikistan’s Minister of Energy and Water Resources Juma Daler after touring the Nurek Hydro power plant on Vakhsh river/basin in Khatlon, Tajikistan.

The famed Nurek plant which the VP toured is a 3 040MW hydro power project which has been developed in multiple phases. 

The rehabilitation and modernisation during 2019-2022 was partly funded by the World Bank.

These plans come on the back of Zimbabwe’s success in attaining energy self-sufficiency under the Second Republic from an energy deficit which had dented the country’s economic growth prospect particularly the productive sectors of the economy.

 President Mnangagwa put it up to himself to drive the thrust towards not only energy self-sufficiency but to become a net exporter and this could feed into that thrust of exporting surplus energy into the region. 

“The dam is 300 meters high and they generate more electricity than we generate at Kariba Dam, when you look at the length of lake Kariba which we used to pride as the biggest man-made lake is only 128 meters high, this is 300, its quite massive,” said VP Chiwenga.

“As you saw in the control and turbines, they have nine turbines but it is high-tech, the control centre is very small but they produce more electricity.

“When we get back home, it is our idea to look at all our major rivers and see how we can dam our water and preserve it not only for agriculture but for producing electricity.

“We have the potential to be at the same level as Tajikistan in terms of electricity generation. 

“Nothing can stop us, it is only a question of putting our resources together and siting the areas.

“We will also cooperate with other regional countries like Mozambique. The Zambezi River for example has lots of areas which can be dammed.

“We also have to look at the regional strategy and see how we can make use of our big rivers,” said VP Chiwenga.

Speaking after meeting VP Chiwenga, Minister Daler said they are willing to work with Zimbabwe and they will be sending a team of experts to Zimbabwe to scout on possible areas of cooperation.

“The discussions with the Vice President of Zimbabwe was extremely insightful and informative,” said Minister Daler. 

“In such a short period of time the Vice President has understood the way how the Tajikistan economy is working, and in our discussion today we identified very important areas of corporation and we are looking at three major areas which is access to water, energy and food.

“Obviously it is very much in line with the Dushanbe Water Process third High-Level International Conference on International Decade for Action “Water for Sustainable Development”, 2018 – 2028 that’s exactly our focus.

“So, the presence of the leadership of Zimbabwe shapes the future potential bilateral relationship between Tajikistan and Zimbabwe and the Vice President took his time and visited one of our biggest hydro-power plant.

“We will be looking at our relationship with Zimbabwe in terms of sharing the knowledge and the experience of two countries also the best practices and the challenges, the lessons learnt what worked and what didn’t work.

“Secondly we agreed that we will share the experience in terms of attracting the significant investment and implementation of medium and big scales hydro-power projects.

“We have now agreed that we will be setting up the working groups and the experts will be travelling soon to Zimbabwe to look at these opportunities and then gradually shaping it and agree on the road map. The Vice President said trade has no borders, has no distance and I totally agree,” said Minister Daler.

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