Zimbabwe Power Company
|Predecessor||Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority Holdings (ZESA)|
|Founder||Government of Zimbabwe|
|Eng. Noah F. Gwariro - Managing Director,|
|Owner||Government of Zimbabwe|
The Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) was formed in October 1996, as part of the 2001 restructuring of Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority Holdings, (ZESA) under the Ministry of Energy and Power Development. The Electricity Act (Chapter 13:19) refers. Under the structure, all power generation assets and operations were placed under the Zimbabwe Power Company.
12th Floor, Megawatt House, 44 Samora Machel Avenue, Harare, Zimbabwe
Post: P.O Box MP 274 Mount Pleasant, Harare, Zimbabwe
Tel: +263 (0424) 250407-9, 770675, 770672
Fax: +263 (0424) 794828, 702840, 794827, 794820
ZPC runs five power generation plants in Zimbabwe.
|Station||Design Capacity||Production March 2018||Production June 2019||Production June 2021||Production November 2022||Production February 2023|
|Munyati Thermal Power Station||120MW||0MW||17MW||0MW||14MW||0MW|
|Bulawayo Thermal Power Station||90MW||0MW||16MW||0MW||0MW||0MW|
|Harare Thermal Power Station||90MW||14MW||17MW||14MW||11MW||0MW|
|Hwange Thermal Power Station||920MW||320MW||413MW||164MW||245MW||74MW|
|Kariba South Power Station||1050MW||725MW||881MW||1023MW||854MW (This was before the ZRA directed ZPC to reduce generation to 300MW)||250MW|
2022 total of 1 124MW, against a peak demand of 2 200 MW. 2023 total of 324MW.
In February 2021, a ZPC report stated that
- Kariba Hydro-Power Station is now the dominant producer of electricity in the country, generating about 754MW out of the combined output of 1 075MW
- Hwange Power Station, the largest thermal power producer with an installed capacity of 920MW was only producing 293MW
- Bulawayo Thermal Power Station, which has 120MW installed capacity was at zero yesterday,
- Munyati Thermal, which originally had 120MW capacity was generating only 16MW.
- Harare Thermal Power Station output has dwindled to 12MW against an installed capacity of 75MW.
|Station||Design Capacity||Production March 2018||Production June 2019||Production June 2021||Production November 2022|
|Munyati Thermal Power Station||120MW||0MW||17MW||0MW||14MW|
|Bulawayo Thermal Power Station||90MW||0MW||16MW||0MW||0MW|
|Harare Thermal Power Station||90MW||14MW||17MW||14MW||11MW|
|Hwange Thermal Power Station||920MW||320MW||413MW||164MW||245MW|
|Kariba South Power Station||1050MW||725MW||881MW||1023MW||854MW (This was before the ZRA directed ZPC to reduce generation to 300MW)|
2022 total of 1 124MW, against a peak demand of 2 200 MW.
- Small thermals contributed only two percent of the total energy production during the quarter.
Zimbabwe is generating about 1 075MW daily compared to estimated demand of 2 200MW. Imports therefore have to cover the power supply gap. 
Independent Power Plants (IPPs)
Zimbabwe has licenced over 45 independent power producers (IPPs). These IPPs have a combined capacity of nearly 7,000MW, from large hydro, small hydro, solar PV, gas-fired thermal, coal-fired thermal, wood waste and bagasse. There has not been much project development as of 2019, with most projects still at conceptual/pre-feasibility stage. There are two big hurdles;
- The tariff has been sub-economic, failing to pass any test required to make a positive investment decision.
- The investment climate in Zimbabwe, characterized by policy inconsistency and lack of predictability on key policy fundamentals, lack of growth in demand, price distortions in both foreign exchange and goods markets and a host of many other problems.
Dema Power Plant, the largest IPP, with an installed capacity to produce 200 megawatts from 228 diesel generators, and the lowveld bagasse plants at Triangle Estates, Hippo Valley and Green Fuels contributing a significant 96.3MW.
PGI plants in Zimbabwe are:
|Nyamingura||Nyamingura / Madengwe R||Hydro||Dec 2010||2.3MW|
|Duru||Duru R||Hydro||Mar 2013||2.2MW|
|Pungwe A||Nyamombe R||Hydro||Jan 2013||2.75MW|
|Pungwe B||Pungwe R||Hydro||Feb 2015||15MW|
|Pungwe C||Chiteme R||Hydro||Mar 2016||3.75MW|
|Hauna Power||Ngarura R||Hydro||Jan 2017||2.3MW|
|Riverside Solar||Mutoko||Solar||Jan 2018||2.5MW|
PGI's experience with ZETDC is at odds with the above complaints. The Honde Hydro Power Consolidated (HHPC), a wholly owned subsidiary of PGI Group Limited, the group has an agreement with ZETDC which states that the sole power distributor will and must purchase all electricity generated by the plant and each scheme must sell all its output to ZETDC. From its experience, the company states that powers purchasing agreements work well and that ZETDC is a reliable counterparty. Any issues that arise such as interruptions to their transmission system (which prevent the dispatching of electricity into the grid) have been dealt with timeously. This is despite claims by other IPPs who are failing to take-off that ZETDC is not reliable and flexible on tariffs. 
ZPC is owned by ZESA holdings. Each power station holds a generation licence from the Zimbabwe Electricity Regulatory Authority (ZERA). ZERA has also licenced over 45 independent power producers (IPPs).
- Lupane Coalbed Methane (Lupane, in western Zimbabwe)
- Gairezi Hydro-Electric Scheme
- ZPC Solar (Gwanda, Insukamini, Munyati)
- Batoka Gorge Hydro-Electric Scheme (Along Zambezi River, downstream of the Victoria Falls)
Gwanda Solar Project
The Zimbabwe Power Company was alleged to be involved in the Gwanda Solar Project tender award which paid businessman and socialite, Wicknell Chivayo money amounting to $7 million. Irregularities were discovered after the project had not started despite Chivayo being given money. ZPC managing director was reportedly suspended by the board following questions raised by the legislators.
“The total amount that was released was around $7 million, including Value Added Tax; it was disbursed in tranches,” said ZPC board chairman Stanley Kazhanje.
“The amount was paid by management and the figures were within their threshold as it did not require board approval. As a board, we discovered it from Press reports. There was no need for the issue to come to the board.”
The contractor, Intratrek Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA), signed a contract in 2014 and the company was awarded US$5 million, for the implementation of a 100 megawatt solar project.
A 2019 High Court ruling declared that the contract was valid after ZESA tried to terminate the contract citing that Intratrek had failed to deliver. The court directed that the feuding parties negotiate a fresh way forward. ZESA also tried to criminal charges against Intratrek director, Wicknell Chivayo and ex-Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) chair Stanley Kazhanje.
In July 2020, Fortune Chasi (Zhemu’s predecessor) said government had resolved to reestablish the implementation plan for the 100 megawatt project, and Intratrek vowed to deliver the first 10MW within six months after signing of financial closure agreements. 
Kariba South Hydro Station
The expansion of Kariba South Hydro Power Station by 300MW for an inflated cost of US$533 million has been the most significant project in the energy sector since the construction of Hwange Power Station during the liberation war. About this Kariba Expansion Project cost; the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) cost was US$355 million, and an additional US$178 million was for consultancy, permitting, licenses and other nefarious costs. The four-year expansion project of Hwange Power Station is in progress at a cost of US$1.5 billion, after the figure miraculously rose from the initial US$1.1 billion. Both projects have been funded by loans from the China Eximbank, and awarded to the same contractor, Sino Hydro.
In October 2020, it was reported that Hwange Thermal Power Station Plant units 7 and 8, being built by top Chinese firm, Sinohydro, for US$1,1 billion, are designed to produce 600 megawatts when both units are commissioned in two years’ time. A new process is being used, known as magnetohydrodynamics, or open cycle, which involves burning coal with oxygen instead of air to generate electricity without emitting any sulphur dioxide. (SO2), corroborated by Sinohydro site manager Tang Zhaolai.
Thermal plants have been criticised as key drivers of climate change because they emit a lot of greenhouse gases. Not using air also avoids generating nitrogen dioxide, the main atmospheric and health contaminant emitted from thermal power plants.
The expansion of the Hwange Thermal Power Plant is expected to feed 600 megawatts into the national grid and will go a long way in easing the country’s electricity crisis. Currently, Zimbabwe requires about 1 800 megawatts at peak periods, but frequent breakdowns at the existing antiquated units have reduced production to less than 500 megawatts. 
In February 2023, Energy and Power Development Minister Zhemu Soda said the expansion of the Hwange Thermal Power Station’s Unit 7 is 99 percent complete, with only the synchronisation of the whole system set to be done. The Unit was expected to add 300MW to the national grid upon completion. Synchronisation would be completed anytime this month (i.e. February). Hwange Unit 7 had actually progressed with all other systems having undergone commissioning tests and they were successful. One of the critical stages in the commissioning of a power station is the achievement of certain revolutions of the turbine and that was achieved. We expect that anytime from now given that the whole system is 99 percent complete; we are only left with one percent which is the synchronisation of the whole system. Work on the project started in August 2018 using an initial $199 million from China Eximbank but its completion was delayed by the outbreak of the coronavirus in late 2019. According to the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) website, 13 February 2023, Hwange Thermal Power Station was generating 378MW. 
Faults at Hwange 2023
- Country relies on Kariba as thermal power drops, The Herald, Published: 9 February 2021, Retrieved: 9 February 2021Date Retrieved
"OPINION | Power crisis: Shedding light on a decade of bad decisions, and the path to recovery", newZWire, Published 2 August 2019, Retrieved: 5 August 2019"
- ZPC gets licence for Bulawayo Power Station, The Herald”, Published: 20 May 2016, Retrieved: 8 September 2019
- ZESA gave Chivayo $7m, not $5m: Parly, Newsday, Published: 23 January 2018 , Retrieved: 13 March 2018
- Nehanda Radio, Nehanda Radio, Published 17 September 2021, Retrieved: 18 September 2121
- Hwange’s net zero natural gas plant a game changer, “The Zimbabwe Independent”, Published: 16 to 22 October 2020, Retrieved: 19 October 2020
- Hwange Thermal Power Station Unit 7 Now 99% Complete – Soda, Pindula, Published: 13 January 2023, Retrieved: 2 March 2023
- ZPC attends to faults at Hwange power plant, The Herald, Published: 28 February 2023, Retrieved: 1 March 2023