Zesa starts sprucing up thermal power stations
THE re-powering of Harare and Bulawayo thermal power stations, which is expected to add 150 megawatts (MW), is set to begin before year-end after two major financiers made the $265 million funding for the project readily available.
Re-powering technology with involves replacing
old Power Company (ZPC) — Zesa’s power generating unit — last week said work on the 77-year-old Harare Power Station (HPS), which has secured funding from Afreximbank, will begin before June. Tendering for Bulawayo Power Station (BPS) has since begun with pre-qualification in India as the project is being sponsored by Eximbank of India.
The two plants — currently producing about 37MW — are set to generate 150MW once the re-powering exercise is completed in 2021. ZPC acting managing director Engineer Robson Chikuri said the refurbishment exercise involves updating the technology used in the plants.
“Money has been secured through a facility from Afreximbank for Harare (thermal station) re-powering. A line of credit facility has been secured from Eximbank of India towards the refurbishment of Bulawayo Power Station,” said Eng Chikuri.
“Both Harare and Bulawayo Power Stations will take 24 months to implement. Harare Project already has a contract in place and, therefore, commencement is expected before the second quarter of 2019,” he said.
HPS is envisaged to contribute 60MW to the grid, while BPS, which was commissioned between 1947 and 1957, will weigh in with 90MW. Eng Chikuri said the new technology that will be used by the spruced-up plants will also be environment friendly.
“The boiler technology that will be employed in both projects is the fluidised bed combustion technology. This technology can use low-grade coal, thus, coal of high ash content/ low calorific value may be used in the boilers. The boilers also have minimal to nil emission of sulphur and nitrogen oxides into the atmosphere, thus, are very friendly to the atmosphere, making them suitable for the urban environment that the two projects are situated,” he said.
Zimbabwe is driving towards energy self-sufficiency after President Emmerson Mnangagwa commissioned Kariba South Power Station extension project in March 2018, which added 300MW to the grid. The country plans to generate enough energy to drive local economic growth and export excess power.