ESCOM upgrading power sub-stations in Kanengo and parts of old town

Power infrastructure for ESCOM

* Ministry of Energy to orient media on its operations

* The project will help facilitate power supply consistency and assist in the realization of the MW2063

By Twimepoki Mangani, MANA

Co-funded with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) is upgrading power sub-stations in Kanengo and parts of old town in the Capital City, Lilongwe to address challenges being faced due to power supply limitations.


At the ground breaking ceremony on Friday — graced by Minister of Energy, Ibrahim Matola — ESCOM’s Board chairperson, Fredrick Changaya hailed the new project saying it comes at the right time when persistent power supply limitations are compromising their service delivery, much to the chagrin of the citizenry.

He further said that the project will help facilitate power supply consistency and assist in the realization of the MW2063.

However, Changaya said the insults from people is coming about because of the public not being aware of the many challenges being faced, which are “not only ESCOM based but could be a case of under generation”.

In his remarks, Matola said his Ministry will engage the media across the nation to tutor them on all major arms of the ministry so as to have a thorough outlook of their operations.

“We shall hold sessions with the media beginning in Blantyre, Mzuzu and finally in Lilongwe,” he said. “The purpose of these orientations is for the media to fully understand and appreciate the operations of each department and be able to state when the problem is not ESCOM based.”

He added that other sectors of the public are not aware that ESCOM has affiliates within the Ministry, saying: “In 2018, during the governance of the then State President Peter Mutharika, Electricity Generation Company (EGENCO) was birthed with the purpose of generating electricity which ESCOM distributes to the nation.


“There is also Power Market Limited (PML), Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (MERA), National Oil Company of Malawi (NOCMA) and Malawi Rural Electrification Programme (MAREP) as affiliates.

“There are certain questions from the media which are miss directed, but this will help to inform and ensure that we are on the same page,” Matola said.

“Well informed dissemination of content on issues from the Ministry of Energy will ensure that the nation is well informed on the efforts being made to safeguard reliable electricity for all.”

Minister Matola

Meanwhile, as the country keep experiencing power load shedding due to many factors that include loss of 130 megawatts lost at Kapichira Hydro Power Station due to Cyclone Ana in January, ESCOM has disclosed it has lost over 400 transformers due to vandalism across the country.

The power lost at Kapichira Hydro Power Station is 32% of the national grid and on top of loss of infrastructure that ESCOM is experiencing due to vandalism of it national power grid lines which is prompting the utility service provider to execute emergency load shedding outside its scheduled programme due to insufficient power supply.

At a media engagement on issues emerging in the energy sector on Monday in Blantyre, ESCOM’s public relations officer, Peter Kanjere described the vandalism as a major setback in connecting new customers since transformers are paramount in any connection.


“Every month, we are losing an average of five transformers and to replace them is very costly as one transformer costs around K4 million,” Kanjere said. “Therefore, ESCOM needs about K2 billion every year to replace the transformers because this does not only affect service delivery, but it is also deprives ESCOM the much needed revenue.”

Kanjere, therefore, urged the general public to safeguard ESCOM infrastructure because once they are tampered with, it affects the whole economy.

Deputy Director of Energy Affairs in the Ministry of Energy, Joseph Kalowekamo said the country plans to have 1,000 megawatts by 2025 against the current 528 megawatts through various activities lined up.

Kalowekamo said although the country lost the 130MW during the Cyclone Ana, there is still hope that in three years’ time, things will change for the better.


“Mpatamanga Hydro-power project along the Shire River has a potential to generate 300 megawatts. We also have the Kammwamba coal-fired power plant which also has the potential to generate 300 megawatts.

“We also have independent power producers that have expressed interest to invest in the power sector. It’s an ambitious target but we hope we are going to make it,” Kalowekamo said.

The media engagement, that targeted personnel from both the Eastern and Southern regions, was organized by the Ministry of Energy in collaboration with ESCOM, Power Market Limited, Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (MERA) and National Oil Company of Malawi (NOCMA) aimed at equipping journalists with relevant skills to enhance accurate reporting.—Additional reporting by Loness Gwazanga, MANA