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.
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.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :