Ligoya disclosed this during the official commissioning of 55 megawatts emergency power supply which President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika presided over in Blantyre on 31 January, 2018. He said the remaining 23 megawatts will soon be installed at Chinyama in Kasungu as some generators are already in the country.
ESCOM Board Chair pointed out that it is now common knowledge that the energy crisis the nation is experiencing is primarily due to low level of water in Lake Malawi resulting in reduced flow of water in the Shire River.
“It is surprising to hear some people apportioning the blame to individuals who did not contribute in any way to El Nino or other factors that contribute to the world climate change.
The low levels of rainfall starting from 2015 and 2016 due to this notorious El Nino reduced the normal flow rate of the Shire River from 260 cubic meters per second to about 105 cumecs as of December 2017 resulting in heavy load shedding all over the country. With the onset of the rains, the flow has slightly improved as it is currently around 118 cumecs,” said Ligoya.
From the installed capacity of 361 megawatts EGENCO is only able to generate around 180 megawatts or the 50 percent of the installed capacity. The total demand for the electricity is 320 megawatts leaving deficit of 140 megawatts, hence the load shedding of up to 9 hours a day distributed throughout the country.
Ligoya further said strategic places of national interest like hospitals are given priority in the distribution of electricity and are not affected by the load-shedding. He said the unfortunate reality is that 95% of Malawi electricity supply is currently generated from hydro power.
“We are all working very hard to end blackouts in Malawi and to have a well-functioning and corrupt free ESCOM,” said Ligoya.