Government assures of minimal load-shedding despite decommissioning of AGGREKO diesel generators

The Minister of Energy Ibrahim Matola has assured Malawians of minimal load shedding despite the decommissioning of the diesel-powered generators from AGGREKO.

The government recently announced its intention to terminate the contract with AGGREKO, citing poor negotiations of the contract as the main reason.

But some Malawians expressed fear that this would plunge the nation into an unprecedented blackout.

Minister of Energy Ibrahim Matola addressing the press on decommissioning of Aggreko

However, Matola told reporters in Lilongwe on Wednesday that the decommissioning of the AGGREKO diesel generators will not have an adverse impact on Malawi’s power generation capacity.

“I would like to assure the public that there are measures that have been put in place to minimize the load shedding,” he said.

Matola said the government engaged Independent Power Producers (IPP) who have already produced power.

Some of the IPPs include JCM Salima Solar power with 60megawatts (MW) and another 20MW to be commissioned at the end April as well as 21MW due to come on line in June from Nkhotakota.

Apart from the additional power that has been added from the IPPs, Matola said, Energy Generation Company (EGENCO) diesel generators will be used in place of the AGGREKO machines.

He further said Aggreko generators were only providing 78 MW, which during that time in 2017 was considered adequate for the emergency power that was required at peak hours.

Matola, however, said from the very beginning, the government was concerned with the high costs of running the diesel generators, especially the purchasing of diesel.

The plan was that in two years of running the diesel generators, 2018 to 2020, IPPs would have commenced the production but due to the unexpected Covid 19 problem, they failed.

He said the AGGREKO contract was extended to another one year to 2021 and a further one year to April 2022.

Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) Director of Finance, Clement Kanyama, said the corporation was paying K1.1 billion every month to AGGREKO.

“The phasing out of the contract with AGGREKO this month will enable us to save a lot of money,” he said.

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