Monday, 27 February 2017
 
The document indicates that the plan will take out 124Megawatts of the available 351 Megawatts on the grid The document indicates that the plan will take out 124Megawatts of the available 351 Megawatts on the grid

ESCOM planning a major shutdown in January

Written by  Chimwemwe Mangazi Nov 02, 2015

Malawians should brace for massive power outages from January as Malawi’s sole electricity provider ESCOM plans a total shut down of the Nkula power station for 12 days.

A document containing minutes of a meeting held between the parastatal and what it called its large consumers, whose copy Capital FM has, indicates that extensive works at Nkula A and B extending over a period of 450 days will be carried out from January 2016.

The meeting was called by top Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) officials in conjunction with the Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) to engage manufacturing companies and other large consumers of electricity on the development.

The document indicates that the plan will take out 124Megawatts of the available 351 Megawatts on the grid. 

After the 12 day period 100 megawatts will be restored and the 24Megawatts will be restored after 240 days.

It further indicates that the institution plans to buy 16 megawatts from Zambia and Mozambique to mitigate the effects of the development.

This is despite Zambia facing its own challenges in electricity supply.

It was also revealed that ESCOM plans to procure Diesel Generators to add 26 Megawatts to the grid.

The move raises questions as to how they generators will be managed as they require fuel to operate, against dwindling forex reserves in the country.

The development also comes at a time commentators are asking the government to come up with alternative sources of energy, through diversity.

Efforts to talk to officials from ESCOM proved futile as they were said to be locked up in a meeting.

The MCCCI president confirmed of the meeting taking place and highlighted some arrangements being put in place to mitigate effects of the development on the industry.

Newton Kambala however declined to give more details saying he was rushing for a meeting.

The development is also likely to impact negatively on the public and home owners who are frequently affected by blackouts across Malawi.

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