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"Escom sees load shedding easing"

Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) has described the increase in power generation from 147 megawatts (MW) to 200MW as a positive development for its customers as load shedding hours will be reduced.

In an interview yesterday, Escom acting public relations manager George Mituka said that on their part, they rely on the amount generated by their sister company, Electricity Generation Company (Egenco).

He said: "Obviously that increase will trickle down to our customers by the same magnitude. More water will mean less load shedding for our customers.

"Actually, there have been improvements in some areas in the load shedding schedule as a result of the rains that the country has been experiencing."

Escom has been rationing power due to reduced generation capacity from the potential demand of 351 MW to current levels because of low water levels in Lake Malawi and its sole outlet the Shire River where over 90 percent of hydro power is generated.

The development saw consumers experiencing up to 25 hours of no power.

Mituka said Escom is still monitoring the current situation as the capacity is Escom says blackouts may lessen yet to stabilise.

He said: "What is happening right now is that we are giving electricity to customers outside the load shedding schedule, but we will review it soon to come up with the specific load shedding schedule."

Egenco chief executive officer William Liabunya told The Nation on Tuesday that the generation capacity had improved due to rains that the country is experiencing in some parts ofthe country, mostly from the Southern Region, which is having an impact on the lake levels.

However, he said the status quo may not be sustainable unless the country gets a heavy downpour.

For the past three years, the country has been facing unprecedented blackouts attributed to the decline in water levels in Lake Malawi and its sole outlet, the Shire River.

Last week, Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe and European Union (EU) head of delegation Marchel Gerrmann indicated that a financing agreement for an interconnection power deal with Mozambique and Zambia national grids will finalised early next year.

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