For much of Africa, the transition from fossil fuels to cleaner forms of energy is seen as an environmental imperative. With fossil fuels comprising a majority – as high as 70% in some cases – of the energy mix, the situation on the continent is indeed ecologically dire.
The Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) yesterday disconnected power to 24 households in Lilongwe after finding tenants in alleged illegal electricity connections.
‘Dubai’ Flats in Area 2 Township, housing 18 households, was one of the structures caught out with the illegal connections, which had two Escom power sources.
This arrangement ensured the tenants were virtually enjoying 24-hour power all-day long—even at the peak of the recent prolonged national blackouts that lasted up to 25 hours as they were connected to the Kamuzu Central Hospital line.
As the year 2017 was drawing to a close, the Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) carried out a snapshot survey to determine the impact of the acutely inadequate supply of electricity on industry.
The Electricity Generation Company (Egenco) has said it will no longer airlift generators from China as communicated earlier because using that mode of transport is as good as paying half the price for purchasing the gensets.
Egenco chief executive officer William Liabunya says the company has since resorted to shipping the gensets, whose supplier is based in India.
Airlifting was meant to speed up the process of generating power from diesel-powered generators. Only three generators, with a total of six megawatts (MW) have been installed at Luwinga in Mzuzu.
Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) has said the 400 kilovolts Malawi–Mozambique power interconnector is advancing as it has now reached a stage of identifying a contractor. This was said on the sidelines of the arrival of 28 trucks carrying diesel power generators to be installed in Blantyre. Escom Board chairperson, Perks Ligoya, said much as the corporation understand that generating power from diesel generators is expensive, the parastatal is still advancing on the Malawi – Mozambique power interconnector.
The Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) has expressed anger over persistent power outages that rocked the country in 2017, saying their repercussions to the industry reached unprecedented levels. According to MCCCI’s Impact of Electricity on Businesses Survey, whose results were released on Wednesday, businesses, especially those in manufacturing, spent about K1.2 billion in alternative power, as compared to K470. 6 million which they could have spent on Escom power, just to keep production going.