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Nkula B ready next week

A by-pass pipe

John Kapito

Electricity Generation Company (Egenco) has announced that its second largest hydropower station, Nkula B, will be back in operation in full capacity from next week.

The 100 megawatts power station was shut down last month after one of its five by-pass pipes burst.

Currently the station uses four by-pass pipes producing 80 megawatts.

In a response to a questionnaire Egenco Assistant Public Relations Officer Mervin Mchenga said rehabilitation of the pipe is at an advanced stage.

“Maintenance works on the pipe connecting to the power generating machine are progressing well. At the moment, the works are over 90 percent complete,” Mchenga said.

He added that the repair works are being done internally, by a joint team of Egenco engineers from all its power stations; as such, there are no direct labour costs apart from loss in production.

The burst pipe forced the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi to effect load shedding schedules during the Christmas festive season.

Consumers Association of Malawi Executive Director John Kapito urged Egenco to conduct regular inspections on power stations to avoid future occurrences.

“Every day they say load shedding has ended but then we go back again to the same issues of lack of maintenance because the pipe does not just burst; it starts from lack of inspection,” Kapito said.

Intermittent power supply has been described as one of the challenges derailing the growth of the manufacturing sector in the country.

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