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Load shedding hours to be trimmed

The Electricity Generation Company (Egenco) has indicated the possibility of reducing hours of load shedding to customers by next month.

The country is experiencing power challenges and people in some areas have to put up with blackouts that can last up to 24 hours.

Egenco Publicist, Moses Gwaza, said the future looks promising according to the figures that Egenco has from its system and market operator.

He said currently there is a power deficit of about 50 megawatts.

When we bring in 20 megawatts from Mapanga in Blantyre this month and 10 megawatts from Lilongwe next month and also other efforts being done by Escom, we are certainly looking at a possibility, where we may not have blackouts anymore or at least the current five hours may be reduced to an hour or two, depending on demand,” Gwaza said.

He assured the nation that Egenco is doing everything possible to end the power gap.

“We are expecting that by the end of this month, the 20 megawatts should be up and running. Currently, the contractor is finalising civil works and now, what is remaining are the actual connections,” he said.

Egenco’s sentiments echoed what President Peter Mutharika said in his State of the Nation Address, delivered last Friday in Parliament.

Mutharika said there are several long-term projects that his government is pursuing.

“I want this country to resolve the power shortage problem forever. We need to say farewell to blackouts. And we will do it!

“We are the first government to declare comprehensive plans to end power shortage now and for generations to come. This country needs not less than 2,000 megawatts in order to serve our households, serve the manufacturing industry and for Malawi to start serious mining,” he said.

Mutharika further said he has directed that Malawi must double the current power supply of 360 megawatts to 720 megawatts by 2020.

He also said the country must generate at least 1,000 megawatts by 2023.

“That is why we are diversifying power generation into coal energy, wind power, solar power, gas power and expand the current hydro system by building dams,” he said.

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