By Duncan Mlanjira
Electricity Generation Company of Malawi (Egenco) plans to upgrade energy power for Likoma and Chizumulu islands from diesel based to solar generated.
This was announced at the 29th Africa Hydro Symposium (AHS) which Egenco is hosting from Tuesday scheduled at Sunbird Mount Soche Hotel in Blantyre that has attracted over 14 countries across Africa and Europe such as United Kingdom, Germany, Croatia and Austria.
It is being held under theme ‘Quality Power for Sustainable Development in Africa – Opportunities and Challenges’.
At the official opening ceremony held on Wednesday, Egenco’s Chief Excutive Officer William Liabunya also said they signed a contract with Mitsubishi Corporation in July 2017 to build Tedzani IV Hydro Power Station with a design installed capacity of 18 megawatts (MW).
He announced that Tedzani IV is being built with a US$52 million Grant Assistance from the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) with Egenco contributing US$4.8 million, high is towards buying of cement and steel bars for the project.
Tedzani Falls Hydro Power Station, located on the Shire River in Neno District about 7kms downstream of Nkula Falls Hydro Power Station, currently has three stations.
Tedzani I, which was commissioned in 1973, has to Hydro generating machines with Francis type turbine with a capacity of 10MW each.
Tedzani II, commissioned in 1976, also has two machines and also generates 10MW each and was rehabilitated in 2018 while Tedzani III that was built in 1995.
It originally generated 26.35MW each but after it was modernized the capacity increased to 31MW each.
Once Tedzani IV will be completed, this whole hydro station is expected to generate a total of 120MW from the total of 366.7MW. The diesel plants generate 52MW.
Kapichira generates 129.6MW, Nkula 136MW and Wovwe in Karonga produces 4.5MW.
Egenco was incorporated on 9th September 2016 as a public company under the Companies Act (Cap 46:06) and is wholly owned by the Malawi government.
Egenco, which was unbundled from Electricity Supply Corporation (ESCOM), is mandated to generate and sell power while ESCOM is for transmission, distribution, single buyer and system and market operator.
The over 200 delegates from different sectors of the industry, are sharing experiences and deliberate on developments, operations, maintenance and management of hydro power plants in the continent.
The symposium hasn’t taken place for the past three years because of failing to secure host countries but Egenco Board approved management’s request to host it because they want other countries to also appreciate the services Egenco is offering.
Liabunya reiterated that Africa is the only continent in which its people have least access to electricity and the symposium is discussing on how it can move forward in energy generation.