Malawi government is getting closer to realising its ambitious plan of constructing phase two of Kapichira Hydro Power Plant in Chikhwawa which is expected to add 64 megawatts to the national grid. The latest update from government shows that the project will be completed by August 2013.
Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) has in recent years struggled to provide uninterrupted power to Malawians due to production capacity constraints. Such unreliable power supply continuously features among the major constraints to doing business in the country.
In an interview on Tuesday, Secretary Energy and Mines, Ben Botolo, said the plant, which will have two more machines, each with 32 megawatts, will be commissioned in August next year.
“The contractors, China Gezuba, are currently on site, working on the mechanical and other issues. We expect to have all the machines in the country between August and December this year. The contractors already did all the designs and all the computer work and the specifications were taken to China to do the machine specifications. If all goes well Kapichira II Hydro Power Plant will be commissioned in August 2013,” said Botolo.
He said as the country awaits the power interconnection project with Mozambique, to supply electricity to Malawi, this is another way to try and ease the electricity woes in the country.
Power demand in the country is currently seen at slightly over 344 megawatts against a total installed capacity of 285 megawatts.
Malawiâ€™s first power plant, Nkula A, was commissioned in 1996 and produces 24 megawatts. It was followed by the commissioning of 20 megawatts at Tedzani I in 1973 and the 20 megawatts Tedzani II in 1977.
Nkula B, with 100 megawatts, was commissioned in phases between 1980 and 1992. Tedzani III and Wovwe mini hydro plants were commissioned in 1996 and 1995 respectively while Kapichira I was commissioned in 2000.