Malawi to face massive power load shedding during Easter -ESCOM

The Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM), the southern African nation’s sole supplier of power has announced it will implement massive load shedding during Easter season from 28th March to 1st April, 2013 where some parts of Malawi will have no power.

The Corporation’s statement released on Monday said this will be subject to inadequate generation capacity arising from scheduled Easter Maintenance Works at Tedzani, Nkula and Wovwe Power Stations.

According to the statement, during this Easter holiday period, generation capacity will be reduced by an average of 132 Mega Watts (132 MW).

“Consequently, most customers will experience prolonged load shedding or frequent power interruptions which will be necessary to avert total loss of the system,” stated the release.

Chingota: Load shedding
Chingota: Load shedding

Management furthermore, advised customers to note that afternoon load shedding is expected to increase from the week beginning 25th March 2013 due to the outset of the tobacco sales season that draws a lot electricity energy for tobacco processing, and increased irrigation as the rainy season goes towards the end.

Malawi is exploring new sources of power since the country’s power stations are unable to meet the growing 
demand for electricity.

Escom, which has an installed generation capacity of 282, 5 MW 
– a far cry from the national power demand of 344 MW – has resorted to load-shedding and power rationing.

Demand for electricity is expected to reach 571 MW by 2015.

Escom public relations manager Kitty Chingota said the sole power service providers has lined up a number of initiatives aimed at boosting energy production.

In its recently released investment climate report, the World Bank included erratic power supply among the major obstacles to doing business in Malawi.

But Minister of Energy Ibrahim Matola said government is committed to providing energy to the nation as evidenced by its efforts in attracting investors into the sector.

“The government is aware of the challenges of energy in the country and it is developing policies to attract investors to exploit other alternatives such as solar, thermal power and not depend only on hydro generation,” said Matola.

Completion of works at Kapichira Phase Two, which has two machines, will add about 64 megawatts to the grid.

Matola said one machine is expected to be complete by August while another by December this year.

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