Electricity Generation Company Malawi Limited (Egenco) says Nkula A power plant will start functioning in July 2018 following the overhaul rehabilitation and modernisation work that is underway at the power plant site.
Acting Chief Maintenance Engineer, Bennie Chisuse disclosed this Tuesday at Nkula Hydro Power Plant site during a media tour for journalists from northern region organised by Millennium Challenge Account (MCA).
Chisuse said currently all the old machines at the site have been removed and engineers are now in the process of installing new modernised machines.
He said once completed, Nkula A will have the power generating capacity of 36 megawatts from the previous 24 which, he said, will ease power blackouts across the country.
“We had very old machines here. You know this power plant was officially commissioned in the 1960s. Since then, no any overhaul maintenance like the one we are doing today happened.
“In the past, we were using manual machines, even switching on the machine could take five minutes; but now everything here will be modernised,” he said.
However, Chisuse was quick to say that though the machine at Nkula A will be modern, no one will lose their job since the new machines will also need people to operate them.
“We know our consumers are not happy with the blackouts that are happening, but come July 2018, they will be happy,” he said.
Fichtner Engineering Site Resident Engineer Andrei Cherepov said almost 70 per cent of the required equipment for installation at Nkula A is already in the country.
Cherepov said the modern equipment will have a life span of more than 25 years before it can be replaced by new one.
EGENCO started upgrading and rehabilitation works on the power plant in April this year under the $350.7 MCC power sector grant to Malawi whose aim is to boost and reform energy sector in the country. (By Andrew Mkonda, Mana)