The Electricity Generation Company (EGENCO) will between Friday and Tuesday next week be installing an K800 million inlet valve at Nkula B Power station, one of the activities in the rehabilitation and modernization of the station.
In a statement, EGENCO says this major maintenance work involves replacing the main inlet valve (MIV) with a new one which government has procured at the cost of €1.18 million.
It says this is the first major maintenance work to be carried out since the station was commissioned in 1981.
“With the condition in which the MIV is in, we run the risk of failing to close the unit in case of floods as the MIV is worn out and is not closing,” reads the statement.
EGENCO says the station once flooded due to the failure of the valve. It says a recurrence of such an incident would mean the nation losing all the machines at the station.
“EGENCO therefore appeals to the public to understand that this maintenance work is very crucial and inevitable.
“After this maintenance, we will be assured of safe and effective operations of this machine at Nkula B Power station,” reads the statement.
The works will lead to reduced power generation as 100MW will be taken out of the national grid resulting in reduced electricity supply.
“EGENCO would like to assure the nation that it will do everything possible to minimize the impact of the Nkula B shut down by running its diesel generators in Lilongwe and Mzuzu for longer hours and will also ensure maximum utilization of its other hydro power stations,” it says.
The statement is co-signed by Blantyre Water Board whose supply of water will be affected in the period of the maintenance works.
Government is also rehabilitating Nkula A which became obselete. Nkula A has three machines each 8MW. After modernisation, each machine will produce 12MW.