Electricity Generation Company of Malawi (Egenco) says it is set to scale-up electricity output in its efforts to address the current power outages that have negatively impacted industrial performance.
Currently, Egenco has embarked on several initiatives to increase power production from hydro-generation and diesel-powered generators.
Egenco spokesperson Moses Gwaza said in an interview yesterday that by the end of August, the generators stationed at Mapanga in Blantyre will add 20 megawatts (MW) to the national power grid.
He said work to install the generators at the site are finalised, including connection to the national power grid.
“Now reliability tests are being carried out. In addition, next month [September], we will start producing electricity from generators at Kanengo in Lilongwe, producing 10 megawatts,” said Gwaza.
Apart from installing diesel-powered generators to increase power production, Egenco said it will soon start dredging the Shire River at Kapichira Hydro Power Station to remove silt that has seen three machines out of four operating, but also for fewer hours.
“Right now, the dredger is being shipped and in readiness for it and work of clearing the site to dump the silt from the river is underway at Kapichira,” he said.
The dredger was funded by Millennium Challenge Account Malawi (MCA-M) as part of the energy compact being financed by the United States Government agency Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) to the tune of $351.7 million (about K257 billion). Once the dredging is over, Kapichira will be producing more power from the current 129MW.
Another initiative is currently underway at Tedzani III where two machines are undergoing maintenance to increase production.
Tedzani, with two machines, produces 52MW—each producing 26MW.
“However, after the maintenance, 10 megawatts will be added, five to each machine. The first machine will start operating by December and the second by June next year,” said Gwaza.
He said Tedzani IV Hydro Power Station, which is a new project, is expected to add 19.2MW when completed by 2020. This project is being funded by Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica), said Gwaza.
In an interview, Malawi Energy Regulatory Agency (Mera) chief executive officer Collins Magalasi said he was impressed by Kapichira’s ability to produce power despite low water levels in the Shire River, which produces 90 percent of the country’s hydro power.
“I am impressed by Egenco’s plans to maintain the supply. They have little water, but they are supplying electricity to our grid,” he said during a recent tour of Kapichira where he appreciated what Egenco is doing to address power outages in the county.
Magalasi said that nationally, government has moved in to invest in new power plants such as Tedzani IV to increase the quantity of electricity.
Currently, load shedding hours in some areas has been reduced from six hours to around four. n