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Zimbabwe decommissions aging thermal Power stations due to rising costs

January 26, 2024

Zimbabwe is decommissioning three outdated thermal power facilities, which the government says have grown costly to operate.

The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority Holdings, a state-owned power provider, has begun decommissioning power facilities in Harare, Bulawayo, and Munyati owing to poor conditions and increased running expenses, according to the state’s leading daily newspaper.

The Energy and Power Development Minister Edgar Moyo, says the decision to decommission the facilities was motivated mostly by their age and the rising expenses of operating coal-fired generators.

The thermal power plants, which had a combined capacity of 240 megawatts (MW), stopped providing energy between July and September 2023. The decision to decommission the plants was made in October last year, and the process is already underway. The plants, which were now 75 years old on average, had outlived their intended lifespan of 25 years, rendering their operation financially unsustainable, according to Moyo.

The minister added that the country’s poor rail infrastructure also contributed to increased operational expenses, as transporting coal by road was costly. The power plants sourced their coal from Hwange in northwest Zimbabwe.

Source: Energy Ghana