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NKULA A NOW HAS A REFURBISHED WATER INTAKE

All works related to the rehabilitation or modification of the water Intake at Nkula A are now completed, thanks to the $350.7 million Malawi Compact, courtesy of taxpayers in the United States of America (USA), acting through the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC).

Nkula A, commissioned way back in 1966, had its Intake obsolete, so as many other critical equipment at country’s oldest hydropower plant.

But a new chapter was opened last year (2017) in May at Nkula A when the modernization process kick-started at the power plant by contractors Andritz Hydro and Mota Engil, who are working on a joint venture.

Now it’s exactly one year down the line, Nkula A Intake now has a completely new look coupled with state-of-the-art equipment including the draft tube gates.

Initially, the old Intake had six slots but the modernization works have reduced the number of slots to four to easily control the flow of water passing through on its way to the turbines inside the Power House.

This modernization processes at Nkula A is also extended to the plant’s penstocks, installation of new turbine runners and non-rotating turbine components, complete new generators, mechanical and electrical auxiliary systems, as well as a new high-voltage hybrid switch gear.

The objective is to improve the availability of power in Malawi by reducing outages caused by the condition of the assets, and maximizing power output by at least 12 MW from the current 24 MW capacity.

It is also expected that such refurbishment will improve the reliability of the plant, and extend its useful life for another 30 to 40 years. This is how the new Intake of Nkula A hydropower Plant is now looking and also how it looked like before rehabilitation work commenced.

 

This is a new Intake thanks to the American Government acting through MCC which is funding the Malawi Power Compact

 

This is how the old Intake appeared before refurbishment works commenced

 

Work in progress at the Intake in April 2018