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Generators were short term remedy—Minister

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By Samuel Kalimira:

Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining, Bintony Kutsaira, has disclosed that the government’s decision to buy generators to boost energy generation in the country was a short term remedy to deal with persistent blackouts the country was experiencing.

Kutsaira argued that companies and other business institutions were on the verge of collapsing; hence, the government’s decision to have diesel-powered generators as an alternative.

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The government through Electricity Generation Company (Egenco) bought diesel-powered generators, three of which were installed in Mzuzu while others were installed in Lilongwe and Blantyre.

Kutsaira, who on Friday toured Lubinga Power Station where the generators were installed in Mzuzu, said government would still maintain some of the generators, arguing they are still important.

“Diesel-powered generators were just a remedial action because, that time, the power shortage was just too much. By that time if we did not bring the generators, some businesses could have been closed. So it was a short-term measure for Malawians to continue producing, as you know that without power, there is no food, entertainment and many more,” Kutsaira said.

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Kutsaira then said the government plans to implement some more short-term measures of generating power such as the use of solar and coal.

He also said the government will expand some power stations such as Wovwe which currently produces 4.5 megawatts to start producing extra 4.5 megawatts so that it can supply electricity in all the districts in the Northern Region.

The purchase of the generators received a backlash from a cross-section of the public who argued they are not a cost effective remedy.

In a 15-year strategic plan which was launched recently, Egenco intends to increase installed capacity of Mpatamanga hydropower plant (HPP) of 308MW by 2025, Kholombidzo HPP 219MW by 2027, North Rumphi HPP of five megawatts by 2027, Hamilton HPP 96MW by 2028, Tedzani IV 18MW by 2020 and Kapichira 112MW by 2028.

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