Ministry of Energy has assured the nation that 25 megawatts power will be online by 14th February 2023.
Principal Secretary (PS) for Energy, Alfonso Chikuni, made the assurance after his ministry alongside Electricity Generation Company (Egenco) met members of the Parliamentary Committee on Natural Resources and Climate Change in Lilongwe on Tuesday.
He said they are using already existing structures to start generating at least one of the four of the machines.
Chikuni said the project has been delayed because of the design that the World Bank agreed with Egenco which involved a lot of design work.
“More importantly, the environmental impact assessment took long because of the procedures the bank normally follows,” he said.
Chikuni said the designs were completed in November but there was no time to start construction in order to finish by 22nd December, 2022.
He said the target was missed and the work could not been done because they entered into rainy season where they experienced challenges and delays.
This means that the works will take longer as anticipated, he said.
Chikuni further said the new date of completion is now the month of May for a half capacity and September for two thirds of the capacity.
Chairperson for Natural Resources and Climate Change, Welani Chilenga said the committee was disappointed with lack of commitment by government to take into consideration the recommendations the committee earlier made.
When Kapachira Dam was washed away in January, 2022, Engine demanded funds amounting to K10 billion to rehabilitate the dam to at least reach a certain level where they could have started running with one or two machines to generate at least 25MW.
“We made the recommendation but government opposed opting to go by using the world bank way,” he said.
Chilenga added that Parliament authorized government to fund Kapichira but up to now the bank’s project is moving at a snail’s pace.
Currently, he said, government is going back to the original idea of using Malawi Rural Electrification Program (MAREP) funds which the committee suggested to government.
Chilenga said the development shows lack of seriousness by government to take recommendations otherwise the country could have moved forward economically.