Electricity consumers in the country should not expect a loadshedding break from the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) as power rationing will continue due to reduced generation capacity.
Escom said in an Electricity Management Programme that areas to be affected by the load shedding on Christmas Day in the Northern Region include Chintheche in Nkhata Bay as well as Raiply (Chikangawa) and Ekwendeni in Mzimba.
In the Southern Region, affected areas include parts of Nsanje, Chikwawa, Mwanza, Neno, Ntcheu, Blantyre City, Mulanje, Machinga and Zomba while in the Central Region, areas that will face load shedding today include parts of Lilongwe, Dedza, Salima, Kasungu, Nkhotakota Ntchisi and Dowa.
Escom has also said the reduction in load shedding intensity in recent days is a result of an improvement in water levels due to rains that has put the generation capacity at 195 megawatts (MW) as of Christmas Eve. Escom’s installed generation capacity stands at 351MW against a demand of 351MW.
Responding to an e-mailed questionnaire, Escom public relations officer George Mituka yesterday said all things being equal, if the country continues to receive adequate rainfall, the power utility expects the situation to keep on improving.
“You will recall that we kept on emphasising that the extensive load shedding experienced during the few weeks past was due to reduced water level in Lake Malawi resulting in low water flows in Shire River which forced Escom to generate electricity at less than half capacity, the situation is slowly improving now,” he said.
The load shedding programme shows that in the Southern Region affected areas will have no power from 4am to 2:30pm and some from 2:30pm to 10:30pm. Areas in the Central Region will face the load shedding between 4:30am and 1:30pm as well as 1:30pm to 10:30pm.
In August this year Escom warned of frequent prolonged load shedding within what it said was a foreseeable future due to insufficient generation capacity.
Escom attributed the situation to the reduced water levels in Lake Malawi and the Shire River, the major sources of water for hydro power electricity generation in the country. n