via Bulawayo Power Station shut down | Radio Dialogue 14 July 2014 by Lesley Moyo
The Zimbabwe Power Company has shut down Bulawayo Power Station to pave way for investigations to establish the source of a strange smoke in one of the generators.
The station has an installed capacity of 90 MW but only feed an average of 20 MW into the national grid.
“Station was shut down on 10/07/14 at 1325hrs due to smoke that was observed on generator 3 alternator casing. Investigations to establish the source of the smoke are in progress,” ZPC said in a statement.
According to ZPC, boiler 5 is on statutory inspection with boiler 7, 8, 9 on standby.
“Generator 3 (was) taken out due to smoke coming from alternator side. Investigations are in progress. Generator 4 commissioning tests and slip ring polishing in progress,” it added.
Bulawayo station was mothballed for more than 10 years and brought back to service in 2011 when power shortages intensified.
Zimbabwe has two other small thermal power stations in Harare and Munyati near Kwekwe in central Zimbabwe.
Like other power stations, the Bulawayo station’s generating capacity has been constrained by aging equipment.
In 2013, ZPC approached Indian government to fund refurbishment of the thermal power station.
The thermal power station was commissioned in the 1950s as an undertaking by the Bulawayo municipality. It was transferred to the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority in 1987 after the amalgamation of all the local authority electricity undertakings, the Electricity Supply Commission, thermal power stations at Munyati and Hwange and the Central African Power Corporation station at Kariba.
Unbundling of Zesa business units has resulted in the plant falling under ZPC.