Bulawayo Power Station shut down

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.


  • comment-avatar
    Madlinduna xhosaboy 10 years ago

    It seems Bulawayo is not better off today than in 1958,according to these facts.Can anyone argue against these facts?

  • comment-avatar
    moyokumusha 10 years ago

    @ Madli, Zimbabwe is no better off, lol

  • comment-avatar
    Petal 10 years ago

    Nothing seems to be going good for the City at all it is always bad news

  • comment-avatar
    Bullshed 10 years ago

    It turns out that no electricity is much worse than expensive electricity. So pay your bill in order that the money may be stolen by some ministerial echelon.

  • comment-avatar
    zanupf fear me 10 years ago

    Should read. ” mugabeland shuts. Down “

  • comment-avatar
    roving ambassador. 10 years ago

    Last man out ,can you please lock Mugabe in?

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    Charles Frizell 10 years ago

    First lesson with electric equipment, NEVER LET THE SMOKE OUT! The smoke is the magical ingredient that makes it works, and once it gets out, it won’t work anyomore. Putting the smoke back in once its out is a very difficult process requiring highly skilled engineers

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    Charles Frizell 10 years ago

    Seems to me ZESA are not very good at keeping the smoke in. In the past they have let it out at Hwange with disastrous consequences to the generators, swichgear and transformers.

    As all these things have extensive safety features that should protect them against almost all faults one can only assume a combination of gross incompetence, stupidy and lack of maintenance

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    Tinomunamataishe 10 years ago

    I don’t understand why this station and the other ones in Harare and Munyati are still running. How do they justify running a whole power station to just generate 20 MW?

    Back in the 90s, for this station to be economical it had to generate at least 300MW and 20 years later its still running at a very big loss. No wonder why Zimbabwe in a mess it is in at the moment, total lack of leadership.

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    Gone are the hay days when the Bulawayo Power Station belonged to BCC. It was build by the City of Bulawayo, in Bulawayo, for Bulawayo and was effectively run bu BCC. we never ran out of power then. At night you could clearly see the Dunlop Factory well illuminated from as far as Mzilikazi.It is by this power station that the city is affectionately known. “Kontuthu Ziyathunqa”


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    Ngoto Zimbwa 10 years ago

    Next will be Hwangwe, Harare, then Kariba and finally, it will be lights out for ZANU.

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    Mixed Race 10 years ago

    The good thing about this closure is that they are stopping unnecessary pollution and waste of vital water to run it at less than a quarter of its total output capacity.The 20 000 kilowatts generated is only capable of powering only about 30-35 low density homes with an average monthly income of about $2000.
    I was happy when I drove past it today to notice just a bit of smoke was coming out of the power station.The question is where do they get excess power at night they claim to have to export to DRC? Maybe they import and then export it at a higher price.

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    Mixed Race 10 years ago

    CORRECTION- The $2000 is per hour NOT per month and number of low density homes about 15 000 if we take an average of 1.5 kilowatts or units per hour.Income generated per month is approximately $1.4 millions,which is nothing for a plant capable of generating well over $5 millions per month.I have assumed that they are no losses to the system.