Speaking after touring their site at Luwinga in Mzuzu City, where the company will install three generators of two megawatts each, the company’s Chief Executive Officer, William Liabunya, indicates that, in the long term, EGENCO is exploring cheaper options such as the expansion of Wovwe Hydro Power Station.
“The country is going through challenging times in terms of electricity generation due low levels of water in Lake Malawi and the Shire River where about 95% of power generation in the country depends on. As a result, we are only able to produce 160 out of the required suppressed peak demand of 330 megawatts”, says Liabunya.
The electricity generating company ordered 36 megawatt diesel gen sets to provide a short term solution and a long term back up to the current electricity generation challenges.
“It is expensive but it is better than having blackouts as is the case now,” he adds.
In the long term, the company is exploring cheaper options such as hydro and solar energy which are renewable.
“We are in the process of investing in the expansion of Wovwe in Karonga District and other hydro power stations in the country. In the case of Wovwe which is currently producing 4.5 megawatts, previous studies show that we can double its capacity,” he said.
In readiness for the installation of the 6 megawatt gen sets at Luwinga in Mzuzu, civil works which include construction of basements, cable trenches and the power house have almost been completed.
According to EGENCO, running a 2 megawatt generator costs about 1.2 million Kwacha per hour at the current diesel pump price, and this will inevitably affect electricity tariffs in the country.