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Escom to add 78 megawatts by end January

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Having failed to meet the December 23 and 31 deadlines for the much anticipated power back-up generators last year, the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) is now promising to add 78 Megawatts of power to its grid by the end of January as a medium measure of addressing power outages experienced in the country.
This follows the arrival of the contracted diesel generators, courtesy of Aggreko which got the tender amid serious concern of flouting procurement procedures.
A total of 28 trucks out of 129 arrived in the country on Friday through Mwanza border post from Beira, Mozambique.
The first container truck entered Zobue border post at exactly 6:36 P.M on Thursday.
The 28 trucks are destined for Blantyre, where 35 megawatts is expected to be generated at Chichiri.
Kanengo in Lilongwe will have 20 megawatts, while Kasungu will be generating 23 megawatts.
Escom Board chairperson, Perks Ligoya, said the arrival of the trucks signifies the answer of the problems that Malawians have been facing, in terms of power blackouts.
He said Aggreko has promised the government to install the generators within a period of two weeks.
“This is the first lot of the generators and more will be coming soon. We expect that by the end of January, the 78 megawatts would have started working.
“With the coming of these generators, we believe Malawians will be happy and realize that we are working real hard and that things are happening,” Ligoya said.
He further said the two year contract with Aggreko is one of the many that the corporation has entered into with Independent Power Producers (IPPs).
“We are talking to many IPPs who will be generating electricity, not only diesel or hydro but other sources as well. The other IPPs might be signing
20 year contracts, and this is the long term plan that we have,” he said, adding, the government has sourced funding to continue with the Malawi
– Mozambique power interconnector.
Commissioning of the diesel generators at Kanengo and Chichiri in Lilongwe and Blantyre respectively was supposed to take place by December 23, 2017.
“The agreement with Aggreko is that by 24th December, 2017 the 20 MW for Kanengo should be commissioned while the 35 MW for Chichiri should be commissioned on 31st December, 2017,” reads the letter signed by Chiwaya.
The letter titled: Submission of the power purchasing agreement with Aggreko Power Solutions further says there is an agreement that Escom should be responsible for the provision of diesel to the two sites. “You may therefore wish to note that Escom is now finalizing an agreement with National Oil Company (Nocma) so that the diesel should be supplied by them. The Power Purchase Agreement for the remaining 23MW is currently being negotiated with other power suppliers, but it is targeted to be commissioned within the first two months of 2018,” reads part of the letter.

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