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Lake water project to be implemented under EPC

The $500 million Lake Malawi water project which is expected to roll out soon, will be implemented under what is termed as Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC)/ turnkey arrangement, Lilongwe Water Board (LWB) has said.

The project aimed at addressing water problems in the country, will involve water tapping from Lake Malawi in Salima to Lilongwe.

A turnkey project is a type of project that is constructed so that it can be sold to any buyer as a completed product.

The project duration is estimated to be 24 months from effective date with feasibility studies expected to be completed within six months upon effectiveness. Construction is expected to take 18 months.

Responding to a questionnaire, LWB Chief Executive Officer, Alfonso Chikuni, said his organisation hopes conditions precedent to effectiveness can be attained soon for commencement of the assignment.

According to Chikuni, the turnkey contract was entered because the EPC contractor will carry out feasibility studies, make procurements as well as constructing the project.

“Cabinet and Parliament approvals were obtained and the EPC contractor has been identified and an agreement has been signed subject to a couple of conditions precedent to effectiveness.

“Six companies participated in restricted tendering method of procurement. The contractors were selected based on technical experience on similar assignments carried out here in Malawi or internationally and their reputation.

“All necessary procurement approvals were obtained from the Office of the Director of Public Procurement. The successful bidder is Khatho Civils – South Zambezi Joint Venture of South Africa,” Chikuni said.

He further said under the EPC/turnkey projects arrangement, the feasibility studies including engineering designs, environmental and social impacts assessments and resettlement action plans is the responsibility of the EPC contractor.

Chikuni said the contractor will be responsible for detailed designs and the construction works.

In terms of how much water will be pumped from the lake, Chikuni said the target abstraction volume from the lake for the project is 100,000m3 per day, which translates to 1.2 m3 per second.

He said, according to previous hydrological studies of the lake, there is potential free usable average flow of 270ms per second over the Kamuzu Barrage.

“Some of the water has been taken up by current demand leaving a substantial flow which can meet other demands. Therefore, the abstraction is only 1.2m3 per second is negligible.

“However, transparency demands that Riparian States be informed of the project. We are in the process of informing them. The Water Resources Board has granted provisional approval for abstraction of targeted quantity,” Chikuni said.

Meanwhile Khato Civils has said it is ready to roll out the project and it will create over 4,000 jobs once the project commences.

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