Malawi braces for dark Easter: Escom confirm up to 18hours daily electricity blackouts

Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) has confirmed that power generation slumps again and announced extended hours of load shedding of up to 18 hours  for five days during Easter holidays.

ESCOM says in a statement seen by Nyasa Times that its main power supplier—Electricity Generation Company Limited (EGENCO)—has lost output by 20% and they will be carrying out major maintenance works at Nkhulembe Bhydro-electric power station; hence, the return of the extended load-shedding.

According to the statement, the hydro-power production capacity will reduce from the current 117 megawatts (MW)  to 115 MW against the national demand of around 305MW.

“On our part as Escom, the Aggreko Emergency Diesel Power Plants  (35MW at Chichimutaz in Blantyre and 20 MW at Kanengo in Lilongwe )  are planned to be running for 12 hours pervstation to moderate demand fluctuations for the days and, therefore, mitigate the impact of the capacity shortage,” reads Escom statement in part.

Escom said Egenco on the other hand, will at most run 15MW of their diesel power plants in parallel with 20MW for Kanengo Aggreko site.

But is not immediately clear why EGENCO’s power output has retreated so sharply at a time the country has received heavy rains that must have boosted water levels in Lake Malawi—the main source of water for the Shire River from where EGENCO generates the bulk of the country’s power supply.

Government abought generators to boost power generation and improve supply.

Thus, since January 31 2018—when President Peter Mutharika commissioned 55 Megawatts (MW) generators at ESCOM’s Chichiri Power Station in Blantyre—the situation improved markedly, with households and individuals celebrating wildly.

The 55 MW is part of 78 MW of emergency power supply procured from Aggreko—an Independent Power Producer (IPP)—as a short term solution against prolonged load-shedding..

In November 2016, President Mutharika told the nation that as part of short-term intervention measures into the power supply crisis, ESCOM would acquire diesel-operated generators on lease basis for an initial estimated period of 18 months.

The gensets arrived in the country in January on 129 trucks through Mwanza Border Post from Mozambique’s Beira Port.

ESCOM board chairperson Dr. Perks Ligoya—who was accompanied by Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining chief director MChimwemwe Banda, Escom chief executive officer Dr. Alex Chiwaya and other senior ESCOM officials—told journalists at Zobue in Mozambique that the arrival of the gensets would contribute to the improvement of power supply by reducing blackouts, thereby improving the country’s economy.

According to Escom officials, out of the total 78 MW, 35 MW would be installed at Chichiri in Blantyre, 23 MW at Chinyama in Kasungu and the remaining 20 MW at at Kanengo in Lilongwe.

When the gensets arrived and President Mutharika commissioned some of them in Blantyre, Malawians breathed a sigh of relief.

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Abiti
Guest

Mu History ya Dziko lathu lokongola izi sizinachiteko.
Shame! I cry for my Mother land!! Beloved Malawi, the Warm Heart of Africa ……

HoRRor
Guest

With such situation/news someone is dreaming of attracting investors.. My foot, which investers

How I wish
Guest
MMMMMMMM Malawi… Once upon in time we were told that splitting Escom into Escom and Egenco will improve efficiency as this will reduce bureaucracy and that Egenco will focus on Electricity generation. But I am yet to see the anticipated improvement. Malawi, is Doomed.. decisions are made as if we don’t have technical experts in all fields.. it seems that we all face the day as it comes without thinking about what to do to fix our existing problems. But on the other hand I have observed that as a country, professionals fear to make better decision coz we have… Read more »
Fuelgate
Guest

Dzitsiru dzalephera kuyendetsa boma ntchito kuba misonkho yathu. Mzungu sangalephere with all these rivers but Africans are proving to to be failures.I voted for Peter thinking that he would bring western ideas. But mayimayi he is very useless.

bibu
Guest

tiyeni nazon a ESCOM + EGENICO… koma muziwe kuti mukuchepetsa mavoti a agogo panda mano aja….

C Banda
Guest
We can never believe what anyone in authority tells us. Compare the doom and gloom of this article with one from Daily Times at the beginning of the week. There it was proclaimed that the blackouts will be minimal. However, if a huge chunk of 100 MW is taken off-line, then this NT article is more credible. See: https://www.times.mw/blackouts-to-be-minimal-upon-nkula-shut-down-egenco/ Blackouts to be minimal upon Nkula shut down—Egenco Posted By: Caroline Kandieroon: March 26, 2018 Electricity Generation Company (Egenco) has assured its consumers that power blackouts WILL BE MINIMAL in the course of maintenance works to be carried out at Nkula… Read more »
namarika
Guest

Kodi inu a DPP, munakweza magetsi to run ma Genset anuwo, munalalata kwambiri kunyoza Ochakwera. What do you tell us today, where are the Gensets and what’s going on? We need an explanation..

Central
Guest
January 6, 2018: Escom board chairperson Perks Ligoya, who was accompanied by Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining chief director Chimwemwe Banda, Escom chief executive officer Alexxon Chiwaya and other senior Escom officials, told journalists at Zobue in Mozambique that the arrival of the gensets would contribute to the improvement of power supply by reducing blackouts, thereby improving the country’s economy. March 29, 2018 when all gensets are in operation: Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) has confirmed that power generation slumps again and announced extended hours of load shedding of up to 18 hours for five days during… Read more »
Ideal
Guest

Inconsistent’s from Escom plus lies from den of thieves & foolish Cyril James Chindame had the audacity to write rubbish that APM will likely win. His maths don’t add up only doctored article with money his eating from them.

#DzukaniAmalawi
Guest
If Malawians were in any doubt about the incompetence and uncaring attitude of DPP political leaders, ESCOM/EGENCO board (and executive); then this is it. What more evidence should we be subjected to before we say enough is enough. I would never have imagined that, in a democratic space, Malawi would degenerate to such a level. This is like living in uncivilised world led by a president (and his cabinet) without vision, strategy or plan to move a country and its people forward. If it was in any other civilised country, the Minister of Energy would have resigned, EGENCO/ESCOM board and… Read more »

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