Bulawayo power station

From Global Energy Monitor

Bulawayo power station is a 90-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.

There are plans to refurbish and repower the station.


The map below shows the plant in Bulawayo.

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The plant was commissioned between 1947 and 1957 as an undertaking by the Municipality of Bulawayo. It joined the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority in 1987. While Bulawayo initially had an installed capacity of 120 MW, it was refurbished in 1999 to 90 MW. The main materials the plant uses to generate electricity are coal, chemicals, oil, and greases. The station generates an average of 30 MW.[1]

As of 2016, the plant is planned for another refurbishment at a cost of US$87 million. The plant is expected to be 90 MW when completed, and was expected to be completed in mid-2018.[2]

India Export-Import Bank (India Eximbank) and the Government of India planned to finance the refurbishment.[3] In March 2016, it was reported that construction was planned to begin by the end of 2016.[4]

In April 2017, it was reported that work on the refurbishment would start soon after ZESA secured US$90 million from an unnamed Indian bank. A company said that a separate challenge for the plant was securing coal efficiently from Hwange Colliery due to logistical challenges.[5]

After securing $110 million from India's Eximbank and the Government of India, Bulawayo Power Station repowering was been stalled by contractual disputes between ZESA and Bulawayo City Council (BCC).[6] The dispute was resolved in April 2019, with Zimbabwe Power Company receiving a license for the station after hearing objections from the Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association and the Bulawayo City Council.[7]

In June 2019, a federal committee toured the facility and found that the machines were ancient, unreliable, unserviceable, and with no spare parts available for the units.[8] In addition, the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) was awaiting the conclusion of the tender process to kick start the upgrading and repowering, and confirmed that it had secured funding. One key development for the repowering project is the construction of a pipeline from Khami Dam to bring water for the station’s boilers.[9]

In July 2019, two Indian companies pre-qualified for the tendering process for the repowering project. The general manager for plant refurbishments said "you will see that between April 2020 and March 2022, we should be in implementation.”[10][11]

In May 2020, reporting suggested that ZPC still has a funding commitment secured.[12]

It is unclear whether the repowering process is underway.

Project Details

  • Sponsor: ZESA Holdings
  • Parent company:
  • Location: Bulawayo, Bulawayo province, Zimbabwe
  • Coordinates: -20.158611, 28.575278 (exact)
  • Status: Permitted
  • Gross Capacity: 90 MW
  • Type: Subcritical
  • Projected in service: 2022 (refurbishment)
  • Coal Type:
  • Coal Source:
  • Source of financing: US$110 million in debt from the Export-Import Bank of India and the Government of India[3][4]

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