Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) says it intends to extend Kapichira Hydro-power Station to Phase III, which will add 40 megawatts (MW) to the power grid.
Escom’s current installed generating capacity is at 351MW against suppressed demand of 350MW.
The sole power supplier is currently in the process of engaging consulting services for a feasibility study for Kapichira Power Station Phase III.
Although the power supplier said it had funds for the consultancy in the current financial period, it has not outlined tentative timeframe for the implementation of the whole project, if the feasibility study turns out positive.
In December 2013, Escom increased its total capacity to 351 megawatts after commissioning Kapichira Phase II, which added 64 megawatts to the power grid.
In total, Kapichira Hydro-power Station has a generating capacity of 128MW.
While the recent incessant rains have overwhelmed Escom’s capacity, energy analysts have argued 64 megawatts added in 2013 was not enough to cater for the suppressed demand.
Malawi Institute of Engineers (MIE), a grouping of professional engineers from the public and private sector, said Malawi would enjoy a stint of adequate power supply due to the commissioning of Kapichira Phase II before slipping back to an energy deficit.
MIE noted that mining companies, which consume a lot of electricity, want to connect to Escom power grid.
It also argued that technically, the country is supposed to have some spinning reserve—an excess generation capacity to cover for eventualities like faults on machines.
Apart from the commissioning of Kapichira II, Malawi is also implementing a power revitalisation project under the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), which will help to modernise distribution, transmission and generation lines.
Millennium Challenge Account-Malawi (MCA-M) oversees the implementation of the five-year $350.7 million (K164 billion) power sector revitalisation project.