Electricity Generation Company (EGENCO) Malawi Limited says it has restored Kapichira Power Station which was damaged by floods last year.
In an interview with this publication, EGENCO public relations officer Moses Gwaza said the development will help in reducing blackouts which have been the order of the day.
“We are very happy to announce that we have started generating power from Kapichira Power Station again. We have so far two machines running each with a capacity of 32.4MW.
“We are expecting to add another machine as we continue to build. We are targeting to have 3 out of 4 machines running as we continue to build the cofferdam. This will significantly reduce power blackouts in the country,” said Gwaza.
Last year in January, Cyclone Ana hit most parts of the Southern Region where it caused a lot of damage.
At Kapichira, the floods resulted in overtopping of the Shire River River training dike and fuse plug, erosion of the main dam slopes and damage to steel structures on the spillway bridge of the station.
Apart from the permanent structures, floods also washed away heavy machinery on the dike and water vessels from where they were docked.
The damage meant Kapichira Power Station could no longer generate power amounting to 129.6MW, reducing EGENCO’s power generation capacity by 32%, and consequently reducing the power available to the national grid.
Following the damage, Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi customers were experiencing prolonged blackouts which sometimes lasted over eight hours a day.
Malawi later obtained a US$60 million loan from World Bank for restoration of the power station which included rehabilitating damaged infrastructure, upgrading the Kapichira Power Plant to enhance the resilience of the hydropower scheme.
Government said the works would be completed in December, 2022 but the target was not achieved.
President Lazarus Chakwera said in his State of the Nation address in February this year that engineers would only be able to restore partial generation by the end of March this year.
“The deadline to restore the Kapichira Power Plant by the end of the last quarter of 2022 was missed due to concerns for the environment, I am happy to announce that our engineers are on target to restore partial generation of power from the plant by the end of this quarter,” said Chakwera.
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