Millennium Challenge Account-Malawi (MCA-Malawi) and Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) have announced a shift in the commencement date for the rehabilitation of Nkula A Hydro-Power Plant from January to February 2016.
In August this year, Escom announced it would shut down Nkula A in January 2016 to work on rehabilitation works of the plant to increase its lifespan.
However, MCA-Malawi communications and outreach director Zilani Khonje said yesterday there was no shift as “the initial communication on plans for Nkula A Rehabilitation, modernisation and upgrading was made before the works contractor, Adnritz Hydro in a joint venture with Mota-Engil, signed the contract.”
She said upon signing the contract, the contractor presented a detailed plan for the works to MCA-Malawi, Escom and Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC).
In a joint statement made available to The Nation by MCA-Malawi and Escom, the two organizations said this has been necessitated by the contractor’s work schedule.
Said the statement: “According the contractor’s work schedule, design work and manufacturing of equipment will be undertaken between October 201 and February, 2017. This means that the actual work on the ground at Nkula Power Station will commence in February 2017.
“To this end, Nkula A and B Hydro Power Plants will be switched off for five days in June 2017 to allow the contractor to finalise preparations for works at the intake, currently being shared by both Nkula A and B stations. Nkula B Power Station will be put back on the grid after the five days while works on Nkula A will continue.”
MCA-M is implementing the rehabilitation project as part of the $350 million (about K206 billion) energy grant to Malawi.
The project seeks to revitalise the country’s energy sector through rehabilitation of Nkula A, which was commissioned in 1966, and modernisation of power transmission lines to enhance capacity.
The compact agreement, which entered into force on September 20 2013, is set to meet gaps in Escom’s working and investment capital needs, among others. It is scheduled to be completed on September 19 2018. There will be no extension, according to MCA-M. n