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African Development Bank seeks consultants for feasibility study on floating solar project

The African Development Bank has extended a request for expressions of interest, asking for consulting firms to provide services under the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA)’s Africa Hydropower Modernization Program (AHMP) to support the Bank and its clients in preparing a feasibility study for a floating solar project on the Lake Kariba reservoir, located between Zimbabwe and Zambia.

Source: African Development Fund

The services to be provided under the assignment include desk review and analysis of available documentation and data, site visits and stakeholder consultation, preliminary feasibility studies for the Kariba site, a full feasibility study for the Kariba site including technical viability and grid integration specifications, financial viability, environmental impact including a separate wildlife impact study and socioeconomic aspects to guide decision-making for ZRA and local stakeholders.

The services to be provided also include development of financing and business model options for the floating solar PV installation on Lake Kariba, capacity building for the authority, two national power utilities, and other stakeholders on technical aspects of FSPV integration, and support in preparing construction tenders to attract IPP SPVs for BOO or BOOT.

The estimated duration of services is 18 months, starting on October 1, 2024.

The selection method during the RFP stage will be the quality and cost-based selection method (QCBS). Expressions of interest must be received no later than 15 June 2024 at 15:00 hours, local Abidjan time, and should specifically mention “Feasibility Study for Floating Solar at the Kariba Dam.”

SEFA is a multi-donor fund managed by the bank to unlock private sector investments through technical assistance and concessional investments in three areas: Green Baseload (GBL), Green Mini-grids (GMG), and Energy Efficiency (EE). The goal is universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy in Africa, aligning with the New Deal on Energy for Africa and Sustainable Development Goal 7.

The Zambezi River Authority is a bilateral organization owned by Zambia and Zimbabwe, responsible for operating, monitoring, and maintaining the Kariba Dam Complex and developing the full hydropower potential on the shared portion of the Zambezi River.

Zambia, Zimbabwe, and the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) region face power supply deficits worsened by poor hydrology in the Zambezi catchment and overuse of the reservoir. Adding floating solar would increase capacity, improve hydro/solar system utilization, replace decommissioned fossil-fueled plants, and enhance hydrologic regulation.

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