Electricity Generation Company Limited (Egenco) has asked Malawians to expect more power load shedding this year due to low water levels in Lake Malawi and its sole outlet, Shire River.
Six of the country’s seven hydro-electric power plants—Nkula A, Nkula B, Tedzani I, Tedzani II, Tedzani III and Kapichira—lie along the Shire River. Only Wovwe Mini Hydro-electric Power Station in Karonga is not on this river.
Egenco expressed the fears on Saturday when the Natural Resources and Climate Change Committee of Parliament visited Kapichira Hydro-electric Power Station in Chikwawa District to find out why the country was experiencing blackouts.
In his brief to journalists, Kapichira acting power station manager Harry Msosa said the company is not faring well in power production.
He said: “For the past two months, there was an improvement in frequency of load shedding because of the rainfall we had last rainy season. We were releasing around 172 cubic millimetres per second from Liwonde as opposed to previous quarter where we were releasing around 100 cubic millimetres of water per second.”
For Egenco to have adequate generation, it needs around 280 cubic millimeters of water per second.
Msosa said for almost a year they were releasing about 130 cubic millimetres per second.
“With that we have been able to produce only about 160 to 200 megawatts against total capacity of 351 megawatts of the hydro,” he said.
Egenco is currently working to dredge all reservoirs to remove silt with funds from the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica).
Speaking on behalf of the legislators, Werani Chilenga, chairperson for Natural Resources and Climate Change Committee of Parliament, said there is nothing much that has happened after the unbundling of Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) to form Egenco and Escom.
He said: “The performance of Egenco has not changed from that of Escom. The problems the company is facing are beyond anyone’s control.” n