UPDATE ON KAPICHIRA POWER STATION RESTORATION EFFORTSegenco
Electricity Generation Company (Malawi) Limited (EGENCO) wishes to update the public and all stakeholders on progress made in the power generation restoration efforts at the Kapichira Power Station following destruction of intake dam structure by cyclone ANA.
ASSESSMENT OF DAMAGE
We completed the Assessment of damage. The flashfloods caused extensive damage to the dam and its appurtenant structures. The Training Dike and the Fuse Plug (protection section of the dam) for main dam was completely washed away resulting in the flow regime of Shire River changing from flowing to the intake but flowing through the dam fuse plug. The change in the flow regime introduced secondary currents/flows parallel to the main dam that further eroded part of the main dam to its core. Erosion Damage also occurred on the downstream slopes of main dam wall, as the dam was overtopped. Dredging pipes at the intake that were anchored were ripped out of their anchorage towards the far side slopes of the dam wall.
IMPACT OF THE DAMAGE
Breach of the fuse plug and extensive damage to the main dam embankment meant no generation could take place at the power station. As a result, 129.6MW (30% of EGENCO’s installed capacity) from the station is not available to the National Grid. This has resulted in the country experiencing long hours of load shedding.
EGENCO plans to rehabilitate the power plant in two phases.
- PHASE 1: ‘Temporarily’ reconstruct a cofferdam around the mouth of the damaged fuse plug and redirect water to the intake to resume power generation. Estimates shows that the actual reconstruction works minus preliminary mandatory requirements, may take 3-6 months from date of contract with contractor.
- PHASE 2: Reconstruct dam structure with an improved design that will be resilient to the frequent floods the country is experiencing as a result of climate change and catchment area degradation. This will be done after redesigning the dam works that will be done after resumption of Power generation.
OUTLINE ACTIVITIES AND GENERAL PROGRESS
Environmental and Social Management Plan (ESMP)
As per regulatory requirements, EGENCO is undertaking an Environmental and Social Management Plan (ESMP) for Phase 1 works. A consultant has been engaged and is on the ground doing the work. It is expected that this activity will be completed by mid-June 2022.
Civil works commencement
The actual reconstruction works will commence after conclusion of the ESMP and conclusion of procurement services of Engineering consultants and a contractor. Preliminary documents were submitted to the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority (PPDA) and a No-Objection was granted for EGENCO to conduct a restricted tender for the reconstruction works. It is expected that the civil works will commence by the 1st July 2022 and the work is estimated to take between 3 – 6 months.
Sourcing of financing
We are pleased to announce that after lengthy discussion with the World Bank, the Bank has agreed to lend to EGENCO through the Ministry of Finance money for the repairs of the Kapichira dam for both phase 1 and phase 2 works. A total of USD60million has been secured which is to cater for the sector’s Emergency Power Restoration Project from cyclone Ana disaster for both EGENCO and ESCOM. This means that reconstruction works will commence immediately after procurement of consultant and contractor is finalized.
We are expecting to start reconstruction of the dam structure in the month of July 2022 and preliminary estimates show that it will take between 3-6 months to complete the project. We are hoping that we will get all the necessary support from all key government institutions that we can move with speed in the process to identifying competent and experienced consultants and contractors to do the works.
We are working tirelessly to ensure that the reconstruction works start as soon as possible so that power generation can resume immediately soon after completion of the works. We are well aware of the impact that the outage of Kapichira has on people’s livelihood and the economy in general. Despite delays in identifying funding for the works, we remain hopeful and focused that we shall bring back the station and resume power generation. We shall keep the public and all stakeholders informed on further progress of the works.