Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining says Malawi should expect less blackouts following the signing of 20 megawatts Chipata –Mchinji cross boarder power supply between Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) and Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO).
On August 8, 20l8, ESCO and ZESCO signed a power supply agreement which will enable Malawi start importing 20 MW of power from Zambia by the end of September, 2018.
Ministry’s Public Relations Officer, Saidi Banda, said the 20 MW will increase the available capacity from the current l80 MW to 200 MW, thereby lessening the impact of load shedding to customers.
“Currently, our system is affected by low water levels that is why there are persistent power outages, but with the 20MW additional power to the national grid, there will be stable power supply, thereby lessening blackouts,” he said.
In terms of connectivity, Banda explained that the 20MW will be connected at a 33 kv line from Chipata in Zambia to Mchinji in Malawi.
He said: “No sophisticated equipment will be needed for power lines connection as they will use existing infrastructure.”
The signing of the 20 megawatts Chipata –Mchinji cross boarder supply deal is one of the short- term measures which government, through the Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining, is implementing to reduce frequent blackouts in the country.
Meanwhile, power utility company, Escom has raised electricity tariffs by seven per cent as the state run company awaits approval of Malawi Regulatory Authority to raise the tarrifs by 60 per cent.
Escom publicist Innocent Chitosi confirmed the raise, saying this was approved by Mera last year but was never implemented .
He said Mera last year approved a 23 per cent raise but was not implemented wholly.
This comes at a time when a cross section of Malawians, including the Consumers Association of Malawi and the Malawi Chambers of Commerce and Industry told Escom not to raise the tariffs by 60 percent because of high levels of corruption and inefficiencies at the power utility company.
Escom is asking for K50 billion bail out from the government amid reports that K3 billion was siphoned off from Escom dubiously contracted power gen sets and billions of money spent on materials irrelevant to Escom.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :