The Electricity Generation Company (Malawi) Limited ENGENCO, are exploring solutions that once implemented, will resolve the long term challenges that the power sector has experienced in the past.
The company’s Public Relations Officer, Mervin Mchenga told the Malawi News Agency (MANA) that the main challenge is the reduced water level in Lake Malawi which has shrunk by 1.5 metres above sea level.
“As of December 2016, the water was at 473.0 above sea level against the required 474.5 above the sea level resulting in ENGENCO’s failure to generate power to the maximum capacity,” explained Mchenga.
Mchenga also explained that realizing the challenge, the company is banking on the Kamuzu Barrage at Liwonde which will help in regulating the flow of water from Lake Malawi into the Shire in order to build water levels to sustain power generation during the upcoming dry season.
“The coming of ENGENCO as a company to solely generate power is a good development to the power sector as that will bring efficiency,” said Mchenga.
“Our mandate is solely generating electricity and we are committed to doing that by exploring and implementing alternative sources of energy,” Mchenga added.
ENGENCO places its hope in the completion of the Liwonde Barrage, a recent visit to the sight by the parliamentary finance committee revealed that the barrage will be ready by mid next year (2018).
Jan Roti Kamuzu Barrage Consultant Team Leader for design and construction said the first phase of the project is done and that come mid 2018, all will be fine. He however, bemoaned that logistical problems like shipping of materials from abroad has delayed the project.
The deadline for the completion of the upgrading of the Kamuzu Barrage in Liwonde, Machinga was extended from November, 2017 to mid 2018.
The total cost of the project is 50 million United States dollars.
Until the barrage at Liwonde is done and other innovations put in place, ENGENCO will be producing electricity for the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) to distribute but not to the full capacity. (By Ida Kazembe
Blantyre. February 25, 2017, Mana)