The Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) is awaiting the conclusion of the tender process to kick-start the upgrading and re-powering of Bulawayo Thermal Power Station, power plant manager Engineer Tom Chuma has said.
ZPC received $87 million from the India Export and Import Bank for the Bulawayo Power Station re-powering project.
The ZPC/India-Exim Bank deal was clinched in 2015 and the financial institution recently extended an additional $23 million line of credit for the rehabilitation of the station.
Addressing members of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Energy and Power Development at the power station on Wednesday, Eng Chuma said one of the key developments for the re-powering project was the construction of a pipeline from Khami Dam, which will carry water for the station’s boilers.
The committee is touring power stations in the country to assess their operations and their challenges.
“The re-powering project is at the tender stage and we are waiting for submissions,” said Eng Chuma.
“So, it’s really work in progress. When the tender process is concluded, work on the pipeline will start. When we expand our capacity to 90MW, we need more water, hence this pipeline to draw water from Khami Dam.
“We have also signed an agreement with the Bulawayo City Council for the provision of water and this will commence when the overall project of re-powering commences.”
In an interview after touring the power station, chairperson of the committee, who is also Binga South legislator Gabuza Joel Gabuza, called for political will to upgrade the power stations, saying they were in a sorry state.
“Clearly for Bulawayo, we have no plant to talk about, by world standards and even our own standards,” he said. “It’s fortunate that we have capable engineers who are able to patch up things otherwise there’s no plant to talk about.
“The machines here are ancient and are no longer reliable. They’re also not serviceable because the spares are no longer available in the country and there’s no foreign currency to import them.”
The committee is expected to tour Hwange Power Station today. The Herald