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Escom to cut supply by 124 megawatts

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The Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) says national electricity output will be cut by 124 megawatts when the Corporation shuts down Nkula A and B hydro power stations for rehabilitation and modernisation mid-2017.

But Escom’s Director of Transmission, Jeford Banda, says the corporation is currently working on modalities to minimise the impact this may bring on consumers.

National power supply currently stands as 351 megawatts against a forecast maximum demand of 360 megawatts.

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The two stations, built in the early 1960s, are scheduled to be closed for maintenance and upgrades between July 23 and 28, 2017.

“We may need to shut down Nkula A and Nkula B for a maximum of five days and there would be power shortage. But the gains to be realised will be more than the pains.

“We are already building a few diesel generators and we plan to procure more of about 46 megawatts in Lilongwe. And there are other generators which were written off and we are trying to fix them to be used within the five-day period,” said Banda.

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He further said the firm is currently in talks with other power companies in Mozambique and Zambia for a temporal power tapping agreement within the period.

“We plan to tap power into Malawi through Lizulu, Dedza, and Mangochi from Mozambique and from Chipata in Zambia to Kasungu.

“We are trying to tap power from Mozambique and Zambia because in the border towns we supply power to these two countries despite our difficulties. We feel if there are enough rains they would be in a position to help us,” said Banda.

Banda then said Malawians should not panic as the firm intends to address the concern and minimize the foreseen challenges.

“We are calling on our customers to manage the power usages in their areas.

We are talking to large consumers to minimize the power usage during the peak hours to share among the consumers,” said Banda.

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