Government, through the Ministry of Transport, has rolled out a 4.8 million US dollars project aimed at rehabilitating and upgrading high and medium voltage electrical systems, including runway edge lights at the country’s Chileka International Airport and Kamuzu International Airport.
The rehabilitation works, to be carried out by a Chinese company, will be completed in 12 months with electrical engineers and project managers expected to arrive in the country next month [March].
Spokesperson for the Ministry of Transport, Andrew Mthiko said government secured funds from the European Investment Bank, through the Existential and Aviation Upgrade Programme being implemented in the country.
“You will call that since Chileka Airport was constructed and commissioned in 1950, as government, we have not done much in terms of rehabilitation in the electoral system. The same apply to electoral system at Kamuzu International Airport since its commissioning in 1970s we have not done much of rehabilitation.
“So, we have commenced a project where we would want to design and build and install high and medium voltage electoral system on all our airports,” Mthiko said in an interview monitored by Nyasa Times on taxpayer-funded Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC).
He further said that they will put new transformers and change some of the switch gears, which enables them to add the voltage to the Escom power at the facilities to ensure that pilots are able to spot the airport from a far.
“We will be introducing new transformer substations in these airports. We identified and signed a contract with a Chinese Company and the contract amount is around 4.8 million dollars,” he added.
Mthiko stated that the contractor will design, supply the equipment and rehabilitate the facilities’ electrical system.
“To date, the contractor has managed to manufacture the equipment that we need and we expect the equipment to arrive in the country in April. We are expecting that by the end of this year, we would have made substantial progress,” he asserted.
Chileka in Blantyre is Malawi’s second international airport after Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe, the nation’s capital city.