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‘Siltation affecting power generation’

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Accumulation of silt over the past few years is affecting power generation, according to Electricity Generation Company Malawi Limited (Egenco).

Egenco said the problem runs across all power stations.

This was disclosed on Tuesday when the Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining, Aggrey Masi ,toured Tedzani and Nkula Power Stations.

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Egenco Chief Executive Officer, William Liabunya, said that water storage have also been affected by the silt.

“Many have neglected the environment and rampant cutting down of trees triggers erosion which ends up in our ponds causing siltation,” Liabunya said.

But he said Egenco is working on interventions to manage the situation and minimise the impact.

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“Nkula has a dredger which was donated by the Japanese Government and at Tedzani, we engaged Mota Engil, who have signed a K4.5 billion contract to carry out dredging and divert a river which brings much of the silt at the pond,” Liabunya said.

According to Liabunya, the dredging at Nkula started at the beginning of the year while the project at Tedzani is expected to run for the next 18 months, starting this month.

Liabunya further expressed satisfaction on the progress of Nkula A Power Station, which is the only power station that is out of operation, as it is undergoing rehabilitation, modernisation and upgrading. The project is being financed by the United States Millennium Challenge Power Compact.

The work will be completed by June 2018, according to Liabunya.

Liabunya further lobbied government to finance the improvement of road networks connecting the power stations to the main roads.

Masi said that government is fully committed to the work that Egenco is undertaking.

“The fact that I am here, is a testimony that government is fully behind Egenco. Government is fully aware of the challenges that the company is meeting and we are here to support them materially and financially,” Masi said.

The minister also said government will support the development of an alternative power source at Mpatamanga Hydro Power Station, for which Egenco is searching for financiers.

The site is billed to add 320 megawatts to the national grid.

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