Kapachira’s 64MW ready December 2013: To ease electricity woes in Malawi

Malawi government says   the installation of Kapichira Hydro Power Plant in Chikhwawa which is expected to add 64 megawatts to the national grid is expected to be completed in December this year and not October as anticipated.

Minister of Energy Ibrahim Matola said in an interview with Nyasa Times said the project worth $55 million is in its final phase.

He said the plant, which will have two more machines, each with 32 megawatts, will be commissioned in  December.

“Works at Kapichira were expected to be completed in October 2013 but due to some technicalities there are indications that there will be a slippage to December this year,” said Matola.

Matola: To ease power problems
Matola: To ease power problems

“ When completed 64MW of power is expected to be added to the current generation capacity,” added  Matola.

He added that the power from Kapichira would be an addition to the country’s installed capacity of 285MW.

Matola noted that Malawi’s rising power grid (connected) demand of over 300MW is also being supplemented by 30MW of power which was saved through the Energy Efficient Lighting Project.

“This project ended in December 2012 and was funded by the DFID to the tune of $5 million where about 1 million of the targeted 1.3 million free energy saver bulbs were distributed across the country thereby achieving a goal of saving 30MW of power,” Matola said.

The ministry of energy further indicates that apart from advancing power interconnection with Mozambique has completed detailed feasibility studies for some potential hydro electricity generation sites at Chasombo and Chizuma with more studies at Mpatamanga, Chimgonda and Nkholombidzo all areas which have potential to produce over 600MW.

Power demand in the country is currently seen at slightly over 344 megawatts against a total installed capacity of 285 megawatts.

Malawi’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.

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.


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