Malawians to experience more blackouts

55 MW generators Malawi

Malawi is set to lose 78 Megawatts of electricity this week and power outages in the country will be lasting 8 hours per day, up from the current 6 hours.

This is the case because the contract which Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) has with Aggreko is expected to end on Friday. Aggreko produces 78 Megawatts of electricity through diesel generators.

Malawi chose not to renew the contract after a 2019 audit report revealed that ESCOM was buying power from Aggreko at an average of K216 per kilowatt per hour (Kwh) and then selling at K92.78 per Kwh. In comparison, the hydro-generated power produced by Egenco was being sold to ESCOM at K31.8 per Kwh.

ESCOM Chief Executive Officer Kamkwamba Kumwenda has told the local media that Malawi Government made the decision not to renew the contract with Aggreko.

Kumwenda admitted that Malawians will experience more hours of blackouts per day but he argued that the country could buy its own generators using the money saved from the deal.

Malawi also lost 130 Megawatts earlier this year after heavy rains damaged Kapichira Power Station. Since then, Malawians have been experiencing at least six hours of power outage per day. EGENCO has been saying that it requires K18 billion to get the power station back in operation.

Parliamentary Committee on Natural Resources and Climate Change Chairperson Werani Chilenga has since demanded Government to implement a proper plan in order to prevent chaos.

“As things stand, we are already experiencing six hours blackouts everyday due to the shutdown of Kapichira; now, if the nation loses another 78mw, it means chaos in terms of power supply in the country,” Chilenga said.

There are expectations that Malawi could have 20 Megawatts from JCM Golomoti solar power plant this month and 21 more megawatts from Selengeti Nkhotakota project in May, according to the Power Marketing Limited.