The Electricity Generation Company (EGENCO) says the massive blackouts that have hit the country will only be reduced once heavy duty diesel generators have been in installed in selected districts across the country by January.
EGENCO Public Relations Officer, Moses Gwaza said this Wednesday in Blantyre at an interface meeting where Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) engaged the company as well as Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) for possible solutions to deal with the blackouts.
He said the generators are expected to be planted in Neno, Lilongwe, Mzuzu and Karonga among other places and would in total generate over 90 Megawatts of power, which would be used to substitute the hydropower during electricity peak hours for about six hours a day.
Gwaza said: “We believe that once the installation is done, blackouts will be reduced. We are also sure that once the rainy season comes, the hydropower will start working better as the water levels will have risen.”
On its part, ESCOM through its acting PRO, George Mituka said unless EGENCO started producing enough electricity, it can only supply what it can afford.
Center for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) Chairperson, Robert Mkwezalamba said as an entity that speaks on behalf of the people on issues of governance and national development, it was wise to engage the two so that Malawians know what they are doing to curb the problem.
“We wanted to hear what is really happening on the ground so that we express an informed opinion. We are glad that all has gone well and we will monitor the process until January as promised,” Mkwezalamba said.
Malawi has 350 MW worth of hydropower plants of which 346 MW of this capacity is installed in the Shire River.
According to EGENCO, Malawi needs 220cm3 of water per second for the hydropower plants to operate effectively but says the problem of dwindling water levels in both Lake Malawi and Shire River have been compounded by the effects of environmental degradation.