Malawi will experience more power outages due to low energy supplies and maintenance work being carried out at Nkula power plantation A and B located on Shire River which has been affected after torrential rains knocked down 10 pylons, sole electricity provider Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) has said.
Since the onset of the rains, large amounts of debris and trash have been washed down the Shire River, clogging intake screens in the process, according to ESCOM CEO John Kandulu
Kandulu said they were not generating any power from Nkula A and B, because machines and the entry point are all clogged with silt, trash and logs, so no water is entering the machine.
“We have lost 124 megawatts [about 35 percent] due to the floods,” said Kandulu. “It is a huge loss of business for us.”
He said the country will continue to experience power blackouts until problem with the machines is fully addressed.
“The power supply situatio is expected to remain subdued. I am not sure as to when we are going to get over the problem but let us hope it will be sooner, ESCOM is currently losing K4.1million due to extraction of the machines,” said Kandulu.
The loss of power means small- and medium-scale businesses have to use generators.
Economist Edward Chilima warned that this would have a huge economic impact.
“In the short term, this will have a huge impact on the economy, as it is already slowing down most productive economic sectors, as they are not performing to capacity,” he said.