More blackouts as Escom increase load shedding

Malawians and investors should brace for prolonged blackouts as Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) has announced the extension of load shedding from the current six hours to nine hours a day.

Chiwaya: The situation will improve

Escom chief executive officer Alexious Chiwaya attributed this to low water levels in the Lake Malawi, a situation that has affected the country’s main hydro power generation.

He told a news conference that power generation capacity has reduced to around 216 megawatts including input from diesel-powered generators installed in the country’s three cities.

Chiwaya said in the short-term, Escom is banking on 2o megawatts power import agreement from Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (Zesco).

“However, the situation might improve shortly after we commission 20 megawatts from Zambia on 20 November,” he said.

Escom finalised works to import 20 Megawatts (MW) of power from Chipata in Zambia through Mchinji.

The five-year cross-border power supply agreement means that Escom will have more than 220 MW of power from the current 200 MW, however the figures fluctuate due to a number of factors.

Initially, Malawi has an electricity demand of around 350 MW but Escom has not been able to meet the demand due to low water levels in Lake Malawi and the Shire River among other reasons

 Malawi  is currently generating 260 megawatts instead of the needed 300 megawatts.

A senior official from the Ministry of Energy, Mining and Natural Resources  said Mwera winds continue to affect water flow in Shire River.

This was however earlier trashed by a weather expert who laughed off assertions that the cyclone winds, popularly known as Mwera, are to blame for the current prolonged power cuts.

Yobu Kachiwanda, spokesperson at the Meteorological and Climate Change Department said Mwera winds cannot affect the production of electricity, saying usually they push water on one side temporarily.

“On long term, the mwera winds can cause evaporation but this does not happen in Malawi. It is always good and advisable that officials should consult us before making statements of this nature,” said Kachiwanda.

He said scientifically, it is very remote for the cyclone winds to reduce the water levels in Lake Malawi or Shire river as claimed by Escom publicist Innocent Chitosi in his recent interviews with the press.

Malawi has been experiencing extended hours of load shedding with the worst being in 2017 when Malawians were on some occasions subjected to up to 23 hours of load shedding.

Escom has since embarked on a number of reforms to enhance its efficiency.

Government and the corporation are investing in a number of projects within the energy sector between 2018 and 2022 worth about K157 billion to solve the current power shortage.

Aside from the Malawi-Zambia interconnection, Escom also plans to connect to Mozambique.

Recently, the corporation signed three Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) with two Independent Power Producers (IPPs) that could add an additional 86 MW to the national grid by December 2019.

Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :

Please share this Article if you like Email This Post Email This Post

More From the World

newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Shack
Guest
Shack

Hehehe! I thought they said there would be power at all times with the arrival of genesets? I remember women in blue singing praising their little god pumbwa. Now the geneset location at Kanengo looks like a museum. Sad for my beloved country.

jorginho
Guest
jorginho

You fuckers always singing same song everytime! Shit government and useless president who doesn’t even know to speak! And wants to be a president again.
Shame on you .
21st century and still giving blackouts for 6 hours a day.
I would like to see the MPS, MINISTERS AND THE PRESIDENT HIM SELF IN BLACKOUTS!!!!
GROW UP BLOODY MOTHER FAKERS.

Achiswe
Guest

There are large areas on unproductive land in Malawi. Why not use it to install solar panels and/or wind turbines. Clearly depending on hydro-electric power generation does not work for Malawi. Use the plentiful sun and wind, which is also free like water. Coal-fired power stations produce carbon emissions which are harmful. It is past time when those in power begin to think like people in the 21st century. Malawi is literally stuck in the dark ages!

Make Malawi Great
Guest
Make Malawi Great

And u clapped for APM at the commissioning of Gensets, which head of state commisions gensets in the world? lol and you will vote for him! Wake up malawi dzuka……

Kawawa
Guest
Kawawa

In the dry season the blame is on low water levels. In the rainy season it is too much siltation in the Shire. They’re talking about constructing coal- powered plant in Neno coz they want to easily import coal from Mozambique yet we’ve got plenty of coal in Rumphi… Koma aMalawi sitizatheka… Do you know why they don’t talk about building coal powered plant in Rumphi (which is the most logical thing to do )? Because it is the northern region… Kkkkk! Kungayambe kubwera chitukuko Ku mpoto. That’s what they are afraid of…

Chilungamo
Guest
Chilungamo

True, NOTHING works effectively and effectively under this DPP-led govt. Endless excuses, always blaming others when things do not work, yet it’s their very cronies, mulhankho boys, ANA A DADIE, DPP puts in key positions who miserably fail to perform. Nobody else!
Now they have turned into Archimedes of this world coming up with, inverting FAKE new theories “akuti mwera winds cause electricity blackouts”. Since when?
Failures always blame others, chinachake zikawakanika. It is called “Blame Game Syndrome.

mathona
Guest
mathona

One song for five years. Tikudziwa kuti government siingachite diversify energy source popeza kutero the cow will be thinner. All we need is diversification policies and empowerment We have 8hr full sun light. Why can’t govevernmet empower citizens with solar energy even at a small scale, people will be able to use for minor equipments and lights in such reducing the load at Escom. The solution of this problem not difficult we just need administrators with positive mind. Tikamanena kuti leadership has to go with intelligence and wisdom ndizimenezi. We are fortunately that time is around for us to try… Read more »

Kholowa
Guest
Kholowa

Kkkkkk kuika solar adzatiuza kuti kumwambaku akufuna kangachepe kuti kusabwele mvula.

Cole
Guest
Cole

For sure diversification is very important and is needed at this stage. Also consideration should be made towards generating power from big rivers like Ruo , north and south Rukuru , Likhubula and others that do not dry up even in the dry season. Lujeri Tea estates is generating electricity from Lujeri and Ruo rivers . Why is the government so myopic to do the same as a supplement to Shire river power generation. It pains me a lot tikamangodalira Shire pamene we have so many natural resources. Late Bingu was right, may his soul rest in peace , when… Read more »

Oscar
Guest
Oscar

Big nonsense ! Very Sad and Shame indeed to the politicians buzy enriching themselves and pointing fingers at each other ,this has a huge negative impact on the growth of our economy as a Country and we all know that. The Government must cancel all other non-profitable developments and start focusing on this problem so called Load shedding until is solved . Simple!
How do u expect investors to invest into our Country?

Mphwache
Guest
Mphwache

Musapitilize kunamizira mphepo. The DPP government had all the time in the world to increase power generation in this country, or power importation. Bingu messed up the Interconnector Bill way back in 2007, at that time we knew that water levels in Lake Malawi go down due to geological activity underneath the lake bed. We also knew that the next water recession would start around 2017 and last 35 years, in which time the Shire will dry up for atleast half of those years. Yet we went ahead with stupid power projects on the Shire and the extremely stupid Shire… Read more »

johnbwanyama
Guest
johnbwanyama

Pitani ku songwe, South Rukulu invest there feasibility studies were done way back 35yrs ago Rukulu alone cn produce more than 90MW. What about wovwe upgrade to 20 MW by investing in new techonologies

Pita Wa Kuba
Guest
Pita Wa Kuba

Abale,,,, nde Millenium Chani Chani uko imadzatani kwathu kuno,,, munkaweza magetsi nkumati situation ipanga improve koma abale eish

More From Nyasatimes