Blackouts lasting 7 hours to hit Malawi this weekend

Nkula Power Station is run by Electricity Generation Company of Malawi

Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) says people in the country should expect blackouts lasting at least 7 hours on Saturday and Sunday.

Escom has said in a statement that the blackouts are due to works which Electricity Generation Company (Malawi) Limited (EGENCO) will carry out at Nkula A and B from Saturday, 21st October 2023 to Sunday, 22 October 2023. The works will start from 6am and end at 7pm on each day but power outages will last 7 hours as customers across the country have been categorised in five groups .

“The loadshedding will affect all domestic and industrial customers. Central Hospitals are spared from the loadshedding. However, we encourage them to always have a backup in case of system failure,” says Escom.

In its statement, Egenco says the work will require complete shutdown of both Nkula A and B and lowering of the head-pond level to create safe working environment for the team working on the installation of trash screens at the intake.

“This means 135.1MW will not be available for supply to the national grid during the stated period,” says the company.

According to Egenco, as the rainy season is fast approaching, repairing of intake trash screens is necessary to prevent excessive clogging of fine screens thereby avoiding frequent shut down of Nkula machines due to reduction in penstock pressures.

The company adds that further reduction of penstock pressures is risky as the intake structures can be destroyed due to such excessive differential pressure.