The newly appointed Minister of Energy Honourable Ibrahim Matola has commended Electricity Generation Company (Egenco) for its tireless effort in restoring the 130 Megawatts that were lost after the shutting down of Kapichira Hydropower Station.
On January 24, Cyclone Ana destroyed a dyke on the Shire River which Egenco uses to divert water into the Kapichira dam for energy generation. The incident forced the company to shut the station indefinitely, leaving over 52,000 households in darkness.
Chief Executive Officer, William Liabunya, told journalists last week that it was engaging its engineers “to work around possible contractors to do the work to have the cost estimates and how much time we will require to reconstruct the dam.”
But speaking to journalists after touring the plant on Saturday, Matola said he was happy to see that some works like fixing of the roads at the plant that were also damaged have started.
“You may wish to know that when the President Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera was visiting this place immediately after the incident it was impassable. But today, they have fixed the roads and we are able to reach some areas that we couldn’t have reached few days ago. We need to thank God for that and the engineers for their tireless effort in restoring this plant,” said the minister.
Honourable Matola however said according to the report he got from Egenco management, the company needs Mk18 billion to reconstruct the dam which will take about six months.
“This is a lot of money which government alone cannot manage to produce considering the situation we are now. We are therefore appealing to the international community to come and help us,” he said.
Meanwhile, the minister said he will present a ministrial statement in parliament on the matter.
In his remarks, Liabunya said the company is still pondering other alternatives to extend other sources of energy. He said the company have already signed contracts with other companies to generate electricity from Solar as well as Coal.
“Apart from that, we are also investing much into conservation of trees along Shire river and so far we have invested about 430 million Kwacha into the exercise through our partners,” said Liabunya.
This is not the first time Egenco has been affected with the natural disaster.
In 2020, the company also spent over K5 billion when it was hit by Cyclone Idai.