Malawi electricity blackout may end soon: Nkula B plan to be upgraded

Management at the Malawi’s sole supplier of electricity the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) are assuring Malawians that persistent power cut will soon be history.

They are banking on the upgrading exercise of one of its plants which has outlived its lifespan, Nkula B power generation plant iwhich they say will end in December this year.

Malawi continues to experience power outages characterised with prolonged load shedding that is negatively impacting on the productivity of industries that heavily rely on ESCOM power.

Kaira: More power

Among them includes Candlex Malawi limited which was recently reported to have registered low profits largely due to frequent power black outs.

But making an assurance ESCOM senior power station manager Steven Kaira says engineers are now working on one of the turbines which will be operational next month (October).

“We hope this would greatly improve power generation capacity and reduce load shedding” says Kaira.

Escom  is currently supplying 286 megawatts of electricity countrywide which is 100 megawatts less than what is required to cater for both domestic and industrial purposes throughout the country.

Minister of Energy and Mining Cassim Chilumpha disclosed recently that Gezhouba Group Corp from China plans to build a $500 million, 1,000 megawatts thermal plant in Malawi which will help abate the frequent power shortages.

The construction of the power plant is expected to cost around $500 million and is scheduled to start next year and will be completed between 2014 and 2015.

Various studies have identified a lack of reliable power supply as one of the key factors hindering investment in Malawi, with the most recent study, by the US’s Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), estimating that the country loses $4215.6-million a year owing to power outages.

The MCC is set to pump about $350-million into Malawi’s energy sector for the rehabilitation and modernisation of the country’s power plants.

Malawi is also preparing to link its electricity network with Mozambique’s in order to benefit from regional power trading under the auspices of the Southern Africa Power Pool.

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