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Escom restores power lines

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The Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) has restored to full capacity the transmission of electricity in the Shire Valley after erecting towers which collapsed after the Tropical Storm Ana.

This was disclosed during a site visit to Chikwawa District by Minister of Energy Ibrahim Matola on Wednesday.

Speaking during the visit, Escom Senior Transmission Engineer Leonard Machonjo said they have constructed a 3.5 kilometres long diversion line across the Shire River from the original route of Kapichira to Nchalo which was commissioned last week.

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Machonjo added that the line is able to take 90 megawatts in terms of design but now it is able to supply between 18 to 20 megawatts which were not available following the storm.

“We are now at full capacity because this diversion is operating the way the original line was operating. It is only that it is temporary in some areas but, in terms of transmission, it is giving the same power like before,” he said.

Tropical Storm Ana knocked down about nine Escom towers worth between K80 million and K100 million each.

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The restoration of the transmission line means that people whose distribution lines are intact are back to having electricity save for the availability of supply into the national grid by the Electricity Generation Company (Egenco).

Matola said during the visit that Escom and government’s plans are to remove the damaged equipment and replace it with new and permanent structures.

“The towers were bent; therefore, the only way is to change the place where the line is passing because the storm has made the Shire River to be wider on the place where the line was passing which has made it difficult to have a line,” Matola said.

Apart from damaging transmission lines, the storm damaged the distribution lines.

However, Malawians should expect to continue experiencing intermittent power supply in the days to come until the Electricity Generation Company restores the Kapichira Power Station which has capacity to feed about 130 megawatts to the national grid.

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