Low Water Flow Hits Power Generation at MHL

Kambala (right) interacting with McKersie Kambala (right) interacting with McKersie - pic by Happy Njalam'mano

Low water flows in Mulanje Mountain has affected power generation at the Mulanje Hydro Limited (MHL) in Mulanje district.

Generation has reduced from 8 Megawatts to as low as less than 1 Megawatt.

This was revealed on Thursday when energy minister, Newton Kambala, visited the power station to appreciate its operations.

“I have noted that we do not have enough water flow which is affecting the generation capacity. The design of the capacity is 8 Megawatts but currently they are producing 1 Megawatt which is a huge setback.

“Reason for touring this power station is to see how we can improve power generation when water is this low. We can do something at the intake to increase the storage of some water which can be used at the peak demand.

“We have had a little discussion with engineers of this company and this will be looked into,” he said.

MHL Managing Director, Ian McKersie, said “there is no storage to store water as you can see there is very little water to store. Our generation depends on the flow in the river.

“This time of the year, just before the rains, the flows are very low and we generate at our lowest levels. In a month or two when the rains are back, it will be full power generation and that will be good for tea business because right now they are not processing much tea but when rain starts, the demand for power goes up and they need all the power we can give them.”

He added that they are planning to invest in another project “like this one if we get the necessary approvals in place. We hope to have another project like this in 2021.”

MHL supplies electricity to ESCOM in a 29 year Power Purchase Agreement.

The minister also inspected construction works at Muloza Power Station of Cedar Energy Limited which is expected to generate 3.1 Megawatts once commissioned.

The station whose construction started in June this year is expected to be commissioned in the first quarter of 2021.

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Last modified on Friday, 25/09/2020

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