Zimbabwe has announced plans to re-power the Bulawayo thermal power station as part of efforts to ease electricity shortages currently obtaining in the country.
Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) confirmed the reports and said that the station has been operating at below capacity due to old age, necessitating the re-powering project. The plant was commissioned between 1947 and 1957 as an undertaking by the Municipality of Bulawayo with an installed capacity of 120MW.
“While the Bulawayo Power Station was commissioned with a generation capacity of 120MW, a refurbishment project which was done in 1998 decommissioned 4 x 7,5 MW chain grate boilers, thereby diminishing the generation capacity to 90MW,” reported a statement from ZPC.
Bulawayo thermal power station
The power utility further said the upgrade of the Bulawayo Power Station will accommodate CFBC boilers and auxiliaries hence leading to the demolishing of two towers to make way. Upon completion of the re-powering project, ZPC said that the thermal station will produce at least 90MW of electricity, up from the current 30MW.
In the same regard, cooling towers 3, 4, 5, and 6 will be refurbished to extend their life by 15 to 20 years and improve efficiency and reliability in support of the new boiler technology for generation of the 90MW.
The Bulawayo Repowering Project and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) is a legal requirement for specified developmental activities such as power generation and any major construction works. Its purpose is to maximize the positive and minimize the negative synergies and make sure that the developments are compatible with environmental conservation and preservation.
ZPC also runs the Hwange Thermal Power Station, the Kariba Hydroelectric Power Station and three small thermal power stations at Munyati in Kwekwe, Harare and Bulawayo.