Local company taps foreign funding for $1,5 billion multipurpose dam project

International and local financial institutions and companies seem to be embracing President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s ‘Zimbabwe is open for business’ mantra as several major entities have thrown their weight behind funding and construction of the $3,7 billion Kondo and Chitowe Multipurpose dam project in Middle Sabi, Zim Morning Post can reveal.

Top South African bank ABSA, French engineering company Vinci Grand Projects, Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ) and National Social Security Authority (NSSA) have made commitments to be part of the project which will see the construction of the largest man made inland dam in the country.

This follows the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) between government and local company  Tawana Power Corporation last year.

Tawana Power Corporation sourced the funding and engaged reputable technical partners in the project which involves the construction of concrete-faced rock fill dams, earth fill saddle dams and hydro-power generating plants.

Zim Morning Post has seen documents affirming the commitments by institutions in question.

In a letter addressed to Tawana Power Corporation executive chairman George Mushambi and authored by ABSA director of  power, utilities and Infrastructure Bhavtik Vailabhjee, ABSA expressed its interest to act as debt arranger in the company’s development of  the 275 MW Kondo and Chitowe dams.

“Absa has considerable experience in the African Power and Infrastructure sector and specifically in the limited recourse project finance market, with a dedicated team of professionals based in Johannseburg, Nairobi and Lagos and access to broader experience base and products on offer from Baclays P/C,” read part of the letter seen by this publication.

IBDZ also wrote to Tawana Power agreeing to provide financial advisory services in structuring US$100 million funding for the project.

The letter was written by IDBZ director of Infrastructure Projects Desmond Matete.

NSSA also indicated its commitment to support as stated in a letter dated January 26 2018, written by the investment manager David Makwara.

“We await your finalization of the indicative cost of the feasibility study which you have invited NSSA to finance and therefore participate in the project.

“The participation of NSSA will be subject to regulatory approvals, but we are interested in this project that will go a long way in infrastructure development in our country” wrote Makwara.

Mushambi said his company has already paid part of the engineers’ fees running into hundred thousands of dollars and secured the central bank’s approval.

“We are glad that our government has a listening ear and keen to see infrastructural development.

“The dams will have the potential to generate 200MW and have high eco-tourism potential and already foreign companies are expressing interest in investing in the project.

“It’s a drought mitigation measure as you can see the recurrent drought cycles we are experiencing now.

We can never thank our Government enough for such an opportunity to participate in a major impact infrastructure project that will change the complexion of Zimbabwe socio-economic landscape,” said Mushambi.