Bulawayo Power Station was built between 1947 and 1957 by the Municipality of Bulawayo. In 1987 it was taken into ZESA, and thence to ZPC. It had an installed capacity of 120MW, and was refurbished in 1999, which left it with a capacity of 90MW. The plant currently (2019) generates 17MW. A 2016 refurbishment of US$87 million, financed by the India Export-Import Bank (India Eximbank) was to be completed in 2018. [1] In April 2017, refurbishment of US$90m, from an unnamed Indian bank “would soon start”. In June of 2019, a parliamentary committee toured the facility, stating that the machines were ancient, unreliable, unserviceable, and with no spare parts available for plants. The power station is still not operating, despite the projected 2018 start date. [2]

After securing $110 million from India's Eximbank, Bulawayo Power Station repowering had been stalled by contractual dispute between ZESA and Bulawayo City Council (BCC). 

In 2019, when the licence expired, Bulawayo City Council and the Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association attempted to restore ownership to the municipality, however, Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) renewed ZPC’s licence. [3]

Location/ Contact

Bulawayo Latitude 20.158611, Longitude 28.575278.

Current structure


In the 1998/1999 refurbishment, 4 x 7.5MW chain grate boilers were decommisioned. Since 1998, the station has been operating on six boilers, three turbo-alternators and four cooling towers to support the power generation process.

The 2019 refurbishment will use new technology, Circulating Fluidised Bed Combustion (CFBC. This gives the boilers the capacity to burn a wide range of coal grades and provides for better management of boiler emissions through the addition of limestone. Tariffs for thermal power stations are 14 cents per kilowatt while those for hydro power stations are 3 cent per kilo watt. However, this latest technology will reduce tariffs. The boiler plant scope involves the design, manufacture, erection and commissioning of 2 × 45MW CFBC. All existing steam pipework, valves and steam receivers up to Steam Stop Valve at the turbine shall be replaced. The supply of water is key. For this, a 20-kilometre long pipeline from Khami Dam to Bulawayo Power Station will be laid. [1]


Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC).


Further Reading

[1] [2]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Bulawayo Thermal Power Station refurbishment to be completed in 2018, Sunday News”, Published: 5 June 2016, Retrieved: 29 July 2018
  2. Zimbabwe Parly Committee Condemns Zim’s Run-Down Thermal Power Station, New Zimbabwe”, Published: 6 June 2018, Retrieved: 29 July 2018
  3. https://www.chronicle.co.zw/zpc-gets-licence-for-bulawayo-power-station/ ZPC gets licence for Bulawayo Power Station], The Chronicle”, Published: 10 April 2019, Retrieved: 29 July 2018