The Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) has requested government through the ministry of agriculture, irrigation and water development to increase the flow of water in the Shire River.
In a letter dated March 15 and addressed to the principal secretary of the ministry of agriculture, irrigation and water development, ESCOM says the hydro machines that generate electricity are failing to produce required electricity due to low water level since government is controlling water at Liwonde Barrage.
The letter which has been signed by ESCOM Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Allexon Chiwaya says EGENCO needs to be producing 255MW for ESCOM to be able to cut power to Malawians for 6 hours daily but due to the controlling of the water flow, only 215MW is available for distribution hence leading to over 10 hours of blackouts.
The electricity supplier has therefore requested for an increased water flow at Liwonde Barrage up to the month of May.
“This will help to maintain the daily average capacity of 220MW from the hydro generators to enable us continue to operate in the reduced load shedding mode,” reads part of the letter.
ESCOM has also reminded the ministry that the prolonged hours of blackouts Malawians are experiencing are contrary to government’s strategy for continuous reduction of load shedding.
Chiwaya has disclosed in the letter that the electricity challenges in Malawi are to be solved upon installation of more diesel generators which will provide 23MW and through cross border connection with Zambia which will see the country getting 20MW from ZESCO.