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EGENCO HAILS AMERICAN GOVT FOR HANDING OVER WEED HARVESTERS

Electricity Generation Company (EGENCO) says it is thankful to the American Government, through the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), for handing over of two weed harvesters the power generation company.

The two harvesters, named Rukuru and Linthipe, as well as shore conveyors, and tipper trucks are expected to help solve the growing problems of weed infestation and sedimentation of silt in Shire River that result into low power generation.

The official commissioning and handover of the equipment was held on April 17, 2018 at Liwonde in Machinga District and was graced by Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining Honourable Aggrey Masi, USA Ambassador to Malawi Virginia Palmer and Kyeh Kim, Principal Deputy Vice President for MCC.

“We are very thankful to MCC, MCA-Malawi and the entire American Government for these equipment among the many components of the Compact that are still going on,” said EGENCO Chief Executive Officer William Liabunya during the handover ceremony.

He said due to environmental degradation and poor farming practices in the river catchment area, the country started experiencing weed islands floating down to the power stations affecting power generation in the process by chocking the intake screens.

According to Liabunya main interventions were tried including manual harvesting using locals using pangas and bare hands to harvest the weeds, hire of PVHO grab crane, hire of Malawi Army Navy but all the initiatives did no yield results.

The EGENCO boss also said in 2005, the company procured a set of one weed harvester, one shore and trailer conveyor, one weed cuter, one service boat to help reduce the machine outages due to weeds.

But according to Liabunya, such an effort proved to be very effective but faced with the challenge of failure to cope with the amount of weeds flowing.

“We therefore wish to assure you Your Excellency [Palmer], MCC and the American People that we shall operate the equipment for their long life use. We are also committed to working together and supporting other stakeholders that are taking care of the Shire River Catchment areas,” he said.

Egenco has most of her hydro power generating plants cascaded along Shire River with Lake Malawi as the main reservoir.