The Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) has said it is facing some challenges to transmit power to the Northern and Central regions.
Escom manager for Central Region Ngwire Mwenifumbo told the media recently that there are a lot of bottlenecks the corporation faces, but prominent ones are generation and transmission constraints.
“We are yet to increase our generation capacity since Kapichira Power Station was commissioned in September 2000, but the demand for power continues to grow steadily surpassing our generation and transmission capacity,” he said.
He said the two regions required about 325 megawatts in 2010, but Escom could only supply about 275 megawatts, leaving a shortfall of about 50 megawatts.
“Escom generates its power in the Southern Region with only 1.5 percent of it generated in the North. Transferring this power from the South to the North and Central results in voltage dropping and this is worsened by the growing demand for power. This essentially means the two regions have low voltage levels,” said Mwenefumbo.
He said while the Central Region has to some degree redundancy in terms of number of transmission line at 132kV, the Northern Region has only one transmission line from Salima at a lower voltage of 66kV.
“This line has also some challenges as between Mzuzu and Bwengu, power drops to 33kV. The same thing happens between Karonga and Chitipa,” he said.