Electricity Generation Company (EGENCO) diesel powered generators meant to contain power outages installed in Mzuzu have been commissioned and are now are operational.
EGENCO Chief Executive Officer (CEO), William Liabunya said two units which are producing four megawatts are operating as one unit was commissioned last week and the other on Friday.
Briefing members of the press during a tour of the site, Liabunya said the Mzuzu project would be completed next week with the commissioning of one more unit.
“Four megawatts is now online as it has been commissioned and by the end of next week we will have the additional two megawatts commissioned thereby completing the project in Mzuzu of 6 megawatts as promised in December,” he said.
He dispelled rumors that EGENCO has missed deadline on generators saying it is on schedule and the project would be completed as planned.
The CEO said his company promised that two megawatts would be online by 31st December and that the 30 megawatts that is remaining would be online in March and April.
“Our engineers went to China on the same and they have approved them [generators] and they will be shipped mid this month. We expect them to be here by February and installation and commissioning will go according to the plan.
“That is, in March or April, we should have the 20 megawatts at Mapanga in Blantyre and 10 megawatts at Kanengo in Lilongwe,” he said.
He said the plan is that the gensets would be running for four hours a day to cover the shortfall.
“Our budget is that we should run them four hours a day because we expect that the shortfall comes in two hours in the morning and two hours in the evening. So the four hours is what we have budgeted for,” he said adding that during weekend usually there is no shortfall of power.
He, however, said in case of no supply in the north, EGENCO would be running the gensets continuously to supply to essential services for the public.
Liabunya hinted that electricity tariff is expected to go up as running diesel gensets is expensive. He, however, assured people not to worry as it is just a small percentage generation that would be produced by the diesel generators.
He disclosed that one unit consumes 560 litres of diesel per hour. The CEO however assured the public that EGENCO as a company has 351 megawatts that is hydro based which is the cheapest means of power generation and they would be mixing the two, the diesel which is expensive and hydropower which is the cheapest.
He said it should be understood that there is a mixture of power generation; that of hydro and diesel generators and when pricing, they would be coming up with an average price.