lectricity Generation Company (Egenco) spokesperson Moses Gwaza says the firm will spend about K46 billion to rehabilitate Kapichira Hydro-Power Station that suffered damage from Tropical Storm Ana-induced floods on January 24 this year.
In a telephone interview yesterday, he said they got $60 million (about K61.8 billion) from the World Bank for the energy recovery project.
He said: “Out of the K61.8 billion, about K16.8 billion will go to the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) to buy transformers and other things that were damaged by the storm.
“Egenco will use K18.5 billion to restore power generation, while the rest will be used for redesigning and construction of Kapichira Dam.”
Gwaza said their project is in two phases—restoration of power generation—and redesigning the whole dam structure to make it resilient to floods.
“Construction works will begin early September and will take 55 days to complete.
“This means that one or two machines will start working even before the completion of the dam construction.”
In the meantime, Escom chief executive officer Kamkwamba Kumwenda said, load shedding will continue as the company faces supply challenges, among other problems.
He said this yesterday at a press briefing he jointly held with Minister of Energy Ibrahim Matola and Egenco in Lilongwe.
Kumwenda said the country with a projected demand of 618 megawatts (MW) and a current operating capacity of 265MW, the supply deficit is about 333MW.
He said with the loss of Kapichira Hydro-Power plant, which supplies about 130MW, Egenco is only supplying them 260MW, but not all of it is distributed.
“Therefore, the situation will not improve until Kapichira Hydro-Power plant gets back online later this year,” said Kumwenda.
But Escom chief operations officer Maxwell Mulimakwenda said they have come up with both short and medium-term initiatives to solve the problem.
He said: “We expect about 18MW to be made available by Egenco in the next two months by maintenance of existing hydro and diesel plants.
“There will also be 21MW from solar energy.”
But in an interview, Consumers Association of Malawi executive director John Kapito described this as a sad development, saying by now the country should have got closer to having 1 000MW by 2025.
He said: “The country is talking about having an export-led economy, but this requires that we have electricity to manufacture.
“Even the rehabilitation of Kapichira Hydro-Power Station will only replace what is currently not being supplied in the country.”
During the briefing, Escom also indicated that they will clear the backlog of about 64 000 new connections applications by the end of this year through the Malawi Electricity Acess Project.
Kumwenda said Escom is losing a lot of revenue because of customers that are yet to be connected. n