Escom changes tune on Malawi blackouts, admits faulty machines

Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) has taken a contradictory step and admitted to the nation that the current blackouts are a result of faulty power generating machines.

Kandulu: Escom boss

Kandulu: Escom boss

Kandulu (second frm left) addressing the news conference

Kandulu (second frm left) addressing the news conference

The revelation comes days after Nyasa Times, in one of its stories, revealed that Escom’s power plants developed faults.

The remarks by Escom’s management also contradicts the company’s recent statement in
which it attributed the persistent blackouts to low water levels in Lake Malawi and Shire River.

Escom has been warning the nation to brace for more blackouts in the next four months due to lower water levels in the Lake Malawi and Shire River, the excuse which Shire River Basin Management Programme and analysts dismissed.

But on Sunday, Escom management came out in the open to admit they are facing challenges to generate electricity due to power generation machines outages.

Escom Chief Executive Officer, John Kandulu told the media, they are experiencing machines outages at Nkula A and Kapichira, the situation which has drastically reduced the power generation.

Aside the outages of two machines, Kandulu added that maintenance works are currently being done at Tedzani, resulting in increased load shedding during weekends.

”The machine at Nkula broke down in April while the Kapichira machine developed a fault some two weeks ago,” admitted Kandulu.

Kandulu franked by other senior Escom officials, disclosed that the outage of the two machines has reduced the power on main grid by 40 megawatts, resulting in increased blackouts.

He was quick to say that repairs are underway for both machines, while insisting the water level situation is also impacting on the power generation.

”We expect Nkula machine to be back by the end of this month while the machine at Kapichira will be ready by mid September”.

Kandulu disclosed that Escom is in the process of constructing a new power generation plant, Tedzani 4 which will add 22 megawatts, by the next two years, to the current forecast maximum demand of 270 mega watts.

Last week, the Public Affairs Committee (Pac) backed calls for government to fire Escom management for incompetence.

Pac joined the chorus of Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama) which has also dismissed Escom’s excuses, blaming it for being short-sighted and lack of forecast and competence.

Cama’s Executive Director, John Kapito said it was baffling that the blackout situation was getting worse under the DPP administration unlike during the PP administration, and suspected the Escom
management of sabotage.

The consumer watchdog has since urged consumers to demand money back from Escom for the period that they are being denied access to electricity since they have to find other alternative source of energy, saying they are entitled to that refund based on the contract they have with sole electricity producer through the Service Charter.

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uncle boris

the incompetence of these guys is astounding. They are single-handedly scaring off investors and destroying the economy of malawi if they don’t start acting professionally fast!

Jacob Mkandawire

Poverty sucks


apapa a ESCOM ndiye mwaonekela pammbalanganda kupusa kwanu. Anyani inu mumatiyuza kwambili. Y doesnt the Govt just privatize? Demeti!

Kaziulika Chimugonda

ESCOM Public Relation’s Officer was emphantic that power outages was due to lower water levels. ESCOM CEO is telling the Nation that power outages are caused by faults. I still believe, we are not told the plain truth. The entire management of ESCOM should go!! Even loadshading is not fare. We are watching all this.


Taoneni mitu yawo ngati a chadzunda. Koma ma hefty packages for nothing.


wake up the presdent as i can see you sleeping. galamukani chonde zinthu zikuonongeka pa malawi!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Frankly speaking
All parastatals are incompetent why? 1. Recruitment is not based on merit – mwana wa chemwali or tribal or mother language basis 2. Staff are not appraised on stretching targets 3. Therefore no accountability on non performers 4. Our leaders can hardly separate performers from non performers 5. Thus why I do agree that the biggest challenge in this country is simply lack of leadership. 6. When you read some comments on this site you can see that most of our comments are not helpful to our already weak leaders 7. Let us try to write advices that can perhaps… Read more »



ACHOTSENI MANAGEMENT YONSE YA ESCOM !!!! FORSAKE amakupangani performance appraisal ndi muyani.


The truth of the matter is that Escom has failed to plan for the eventual disaster about to befall the country where the lake levels will fall so low that there will be no water flowing to Shire River as happened some 100 years ago! That is what the country needs to worry about most and begin planning for!

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