Escom owes Egenco K18 billion

Energy generator, Electricity Generation Company (EGENCO) says power distributors, Escom owes the power generation company K18 billion.
EGENCO says this bill has crippled efforts to fix Kapichira Power Station in Chikhwawa.
Officials from the company say they have asked the government for a bail out.

PRO Moses Gwaza: We don’t have that kind of money
The Kapichira power plant which generated 130 megawatts of power was shut down after its intake dam was washed away following flash floods in the wake of cyclone Ana.
The spokesperson for EGENCO, Moses Gwaza said the company is counting on the government to assist with the funds.
“We don’t have that money and we are hoping that the government is going to give us that money, we have also had discussions with other partners like the World Bank and the parliamentary committees and they have all assured us of their support,” he said
Gwaza disclosed that EGENCO currently does not have the funds in question as their single buyer, ESCOM has not been remitting funds for the purchase of power.
“People would think that maybe we have such kind of money somewhere but unfortunately that’s not the case.
“You will recall that we have the single buyer failing to pay us money so this also affects us in times like these but we are very hopeful that the government is going to assist us,” said Gwaza.
Meanwhile, the Parliamentary Committee of Natural Resources and Energy said it will propose in parliament for government to divert money from Malawi Rural Electrification Project (MAREP) to EGENCO for it to fix the Kapichira power station.
Welani Chilenga-Chairperson for the Committee said the MAREP project generates about K20 billion each year and since there have been no projects for two years, the government should divert some of the funds to quickly fix Kapichira.
“It’s very important that EGENCO is given that money, as a committee we are going to request the government to release that money and also request our colleagues so that we support them.” Said Chilenga
This means electricity consumers should brace for times with erratic power supply as generation capacity has dwindled further.
Power supplier, Escom has been forced to resort to alternative sources to fill in for the outage of Kapichira Power Station.
Innocent Chitosi, public relations manager for Escom said they have now turned to diesel generators, solar and hydropower being generated from Likhubula in Mulanje to supplement the available power.
“We have been affected negatively by the absence of power supply from Kapichira, we are relying on and harnessing the available alternatives; we are talking of solar power from JCM in Salima, diesel-powered generators owned by Aggreko and also some owned by EGENCO as well as Mulanje hydropower,” said Chitosi
However, he said the amount of power being generated from these alternative sources is not enough hence ESCOM will continue to ration the power supply which will result in continued load shedding.
Egenco supplies 442 megawatts to the national grid from both hydro and diesel generators. However, in the absence of the Kapichira Power Station, only 312MW will be generated.

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