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 and 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|
|Munyati Thermal Power Station||120MW||0MW||17MW|
|Bulawayo Thermal Power Station||90MW||0MW||16MW|
|Harare Thermal Power Station||90MW||14MW||17MW|
|Hwange Thermal Power Station||920MW||320MW||413MW|
|Kariba South Power Station||1050MW||725MW||881MW|
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.”
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. (SO22), 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.
"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