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Egenco needs K18 billion to restore Kapichira

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Ibrahim Matola

Ministry of Energy and Electricity Generation Company (Egenco) officials say it will take six months to rehabilitate Kapichira Hydro power plant in Chikwawa District.

This was revealed when Energy Minister Ibrahim Matola visited the power plant to appreciate the damage caused as a result of floods from the effects of Tropical Storm Ana.

Two weeks ago, the country faced heavy rains in the Southern Region which resulted in floods and swept the dam, taking 130 megawatts off the grid.

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According to Matola, the damage is extensive and K18 billion is needed to get the power plant back to shape.

“I would like to call upon all Malawians to bear with us as we are trying to get immediate solutions because it is almost like starting all over again because the river has been diverted and the dam is no longer there,” Matola said.

Kapichira power plant was sending into the national grid 130 megawatts which is about 32 percent of the national output.

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As a result of the damage, Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi has been forced to initiate an emergency load shedding schedule to ease pressure on the remaining power plants.

Egenco Chief Executive Officer William Liyabunya said the damage is an eye-opener that they should do more on tapping from other sources of energy such as solar and coal powered.

Liyabunya added that they are working on conserving the environment so that calamities like floods should not be severe.

“We partner with Shire BEST and making initiatives with villages around this place to plant trees and encouraging them to take care of the trees and we are hoping that we should be able to restore the catchment area of the Shire River,” Liyabunya said.

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