Hydropower efficiencies are expected to improve following the awarding of a contract to a United States (US) firm by the Malawi Challenge Account-Malawi (MCA-M) to supply dredging equipment at Kapichira Hydropower Plant.
The MCA-M which is implementing a $350.7 million (K257 billion) energy compact announced that it awarded Elliott Dredges LLC a $7 million (K5 billion) contract to support efforts in strengthening the country’s power sector.
The US-based firm will supply dredging equipment to the Kapichira Hydropower Plant to help improve its generation by reducing the sediment in the reservoir, and therefore, increasing the amount of reservoir water volume and hydropower efficiencies.
According to a statement from the US Embassy, the procurement of the dredging machines will come a long way in the improvement of generation capacity.
“Nearly 95 percent of Malawi’s power is generated by hydropower on the Shire River. Weeds and sediment lower the water levels of the river, and accumulation in reservoirs reduces the amount of water that can be held, resulting in reduced power generation.
“The dredging equipment procured from Ellicott Dredges LLC will remove the weeds and sediment and help to improve generation capacity at the Kapichira Hydropower Plant,” reads the statement.
US Ambassador Virginia Palmer hailed MCA-M for an open competitive tender process.
“I commend MCA-Malawi on an open and competitive contract process that encourages companies to get involved in Malawi. It is always exciting when the experience and expertise of US companies can support broader US government efforts to alleviate poverty and advance growth in Malawi,” she said.
Currently, the MCA-M is in a working relationship with the Malawi Government to, among others, strengthen a foundation on which the country’s power system can grow, including infrastructure and enabling policies that encourage accountability and private sector involvement.
The five-year compact which will conclude in September consists of three projects designed to take a complementary approach to improve the sector. n