The Electricity Generation Company Malawi Limited (Egenco) has outlined ambitious multibillion electricity generation projects to increase current national energy capacity as one way of addressing the continued power blacks negatively impacting on the country’s economy.
Malawi has been subjected to continued blackouts due to lower waters levels in Lake Malawi. The country relays heavily on hydro power and at meantime water levels are at 473.0 meters above sea level than required 474.5 (masl).
The country generates a total of 360 Mega Watts (MW) on daily basis which is not enough to meet the growing demands from both domestic and industrial customers.
Egenco Chief Executive Officer, William Liabunya said some of the projects the company is undertaking include construction of Tedzani IV hydro power station, solar power station and installation of diesel generators.
“Tedzani IV project will add 18 MW to the grid. It is being implemented with funding from the Japanese government and with additional local funding being worked out by Egenco and the government. This project is expected to be commissioned by 2019,” explained Liabunya.
The project to start this year is expected to cost about K52 billion with Japanese government through Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) as main financer.
Jica according to Liabunya is providing about US$67 million (approximately K49.1 billion) and Egenco will have to meet a shortfall of K3 billion.
“We are also exploring financing possibility for us to go into a 20 MW solar power station that is on our immediate plan for this year. If all works out we should have it in operation within the next 12 to 24 months. We already have 15 MW of diesel power plants that are installed in Lilongwe and are currently in operation.
“However, we intend to expand by installing other diesel power plants. Works have already begun for a 6MW diesel power plant in Mzuzu. Further to this, we will also be installing a 20MW diesel power plant in Mapanga, Blantyre and in the long run install another 10 MW diesel Power Plant in Lilongwe. The Mzuzu plant should be installed by the end of the year.”
Another ambitious project is Shire River’s Mpatamanga hydro-power project to generate 320 MW. Feasibility studies for the project being financed by the World Bank are almost complete, disclosed Liabunya.
“We are courting possible financiers for implementing this project. Even though Mpatamanga will also be hydro on the Shire River, it will be unique from the other power stations in that it will have a very big dam that will enable us to store water, which we are currently not able to do at our existing power stations. As such it will provide a means for managing the cascade of the Shire River,” he added.
“Through this Power station we will be able to store enough water for the Station and be able to expand the downstream Kapichira Falls Power station by 100 MW while also supplying water for the Shire Valley Irrigation Project which is underway and being financed by the World Bank as well. This project will be a game changer in the flows of the Shire River and power generation.”
Meanwhile, Egenco is further looking into other projects to increase the generation capacity from the current plants. The other projects include doubling Wovwe Power station 4.5 MW capacity by increasing its water storage.
Feasibility study on the expansion of Wovwe Power Station is expected to be completed by June 2018.
Meanwhile, Egenco revealed despite low water levels in Lake Malawi, the situation has slightly improved between January and this month with 0.65 meters above sea level following increased rains in central and northern regions. This has resulted in the country having fewer blackouts in the past weeks.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :