Malawi - Nkula A

A contract to rehabilitate and upgrade the Nkula A hydropower station has been awarded to ANDRITZ HYDRO as leader to a consortium by the Millennium Challenge Account - Malawi (MCA-M).

Commissioned in 1966, HPP Nkula A was the first hydropower station in Malawi. 

Site visit

Site visit

Along with Nkula B, it is one of two hydropower stations in the first cascade of the Nkula Falls on the Shire River, about 50 km northwest of the city of Blantyre. Due to its age, the hydropower plant has experienced numerous forced outages over recent years, which made a major overhaul an absolute necessity for a stable power supply in the region.

The scope of supply for consortium leader ANDRITZ HYDRO includes modernization of intake and draft tube gates, 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, and SCADA system.

Contract signing

Contract signing

The project is funded by Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), a US foreign aid agency under the compact to reduce poverty through economic growth in Malawi. The main target areas to achieve this goal are improving the availability, reliability, and quality of the power supply and increasing the capacity and stability of the national electricity grid, which is operated by the Malawian government utility ESCOM. A further objective of the MCC compact is to create an enabling environment for future expansion of the power sector by strengthening sector institutions and enhancing regulation and governance of the sector.


The refurbished hydropower plant, with an increased total output of 35.1 MW, is expected to resume operation in mid-2018.

TECHNICAL DATA

Output3 × 11.7 MW
Voltage11 kV
Head55.2 m
Speed375 rpm
Runner diameter1,650 mm

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