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Escom goes to banks for K30bn loan as Malawi govt rebuffs bail out

State power utility company,  Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom)  has now gone to commercial banks to get a staggering K30 billion to pay out crucial outstanding debt after the government refused a K50 billion bail-out.

Chiwaya: Escom turns to bank, seeks K30 billion

Escom chief executive officer Alexion Chiwaya told the parliamentary Budget and Finance committee on Tuesday that the decision to get the bank loan was arrived at after the government refusal to bail out the power utility company.

“We are still talking to National Bank, Standard Bank, Ecobank, NBS and others on the loan and the interest they will charge us,” said Chiwaya.

He said Escom owes Electricity Generation Company (Egenco), Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority  (Mera) and Aglenco billions of money after the government decided to unbundle Escom.

“Actually, we posted a loss of K8.8 billion in the 2016/17 financial year because of the changes,” Chiwaya told the committee.

He said Escom would be paying K800, 000 every month for five years for the K30 billion bank loan.

“We desperately need the K30 billion to keep us afloat to continue providing electricity to people,” said Chiwaya.

Chiwaya said Escom uses K58 million in fuel for gen sets to power electricity at Chichiri in Mulanje, Lilongwe and Chinyama in Mulanje for just six hours.

This revelation comes at a time when Escom has lost 4, 000 litres of fuel for the gen sets through corruption and theft.

Vice chairman of the Budget and Finance committee John Chikalimba said the K30 billion will bring more financial chaos at Escom.

He said Escom should have asked for advice on the issue from the parliamentary committee.

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