The Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) said on Tuesday it expects the Bulawayo Thermal Power Station to produce at least 90MW of electricity, up from the current 30MW, after completion of a re-powering project that it is undertaking.
The ZPC, which runs the Hwange Thermal Power Station, the Kariba Hydroelectric Power Station and three small thermal power stations at Munyati in Kwekwe, Harare and Bulawayo, has plans to re-power the Bulawayo and Harare stations as part of efforts to ease electricity shortages currently obtaining in the country.
The small power stations have been operating at below capacity due to old age, necessitating the re-powering project.
The ZPC said the Bulawayo Power Station, for example, was built and commissioned between 1947 and 1957 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," it said.
"Since 1998, the station has been operating six boilers, three turbo-alternators and four cooling towers to support the power generation process.
"Over the years the power plant has deteriorated to a dependable capacity of 30MW due to obsolete machinery," the ZPC said.
"ZPC has planned a re-powering project to restore the generation capacity to 90MW through replacement of the chain grate boilers with modern technology circulating fluidised bed combustion boilers."
The power utility said the re-powering project would improve efficiency of the plant.
"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 90MW," it said. -- New Ziana.