“A power development study that was conducted in 1998 showed that the site has the capacity to generate up to 175 MW of electricity, depending on the selected dam construction method,” Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority technical Regulation Director Welton Saiwa said.

“The procurement of the consultancy services shall be an open tender process,” Saiwa said.

Saiwa further said that the African Development Bank and potential private investors from Australia, Zambia and South Africa have expressed an interest in participating in the project as financial and technical partners.

The Electricity Supply Commission of Malawi (Escom) said that the power blackouts the country frequently experienced were mainly the result of generation constraints caused by siltation in the Shire river.

At present, Escom has the capacity to generate 285 MW at its hydropower stations at Nkula, Tedzani and Kapichira, on the Shire river, and at Wovwe, in the northern district of Karonga.

However, only 240 MW was available at present, because of damage to the Tedzani 1 and 2 power stations.