Tremendous efforts being done to mitigate incessant electricity load shedding, says Minister of Energy Atupele Muluzi

By Duncan Mlanjira

In recent past, electricity power load shedding had been carried out by Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) and Energy Generation Company (EGENCO) at unprecedented levels that reached up to seven continuous hours a day — disrupting many businesses and the economy.

But Minister of Energy, Atupele Muluzi, after a visit of ESCOM Power Station at Makata Industrial Area in Blantyre on Thursday, told the media that tremendous efforts are being done to mitigate the incessant power challenges being faced evidenced by the scaling down of the load shedding to four hours a day.

Muluzi washes hands before entering ESCOM’s
national control centre

According to ESCOM and its sister company, Energy Generation Company (EGENCO) — which Muluzi also visited last week, the 7-hour load shedding initiated last week from the original four hours it was previously at, came about because of maintenance works on three plants at Kapichira Hydro Power.


ESCOM’s Public Relations Manager Innoce Chitosi said so far two of the power plants are operational and the remaining one is expected to roll out as soon as possible.

The Minister’s visit to EGENCO last week and ESCOM on Thursday was for him to be appraised and appreciate the efforts being done to mitigate the challenges the two face so as to see how the government can come in to render its support.

Coronavirus alert

“It is important that we should always have stable and reliable power all the time,” he said. “Now that load shedding has been reduced to four hours, there is the need to see how we can forge ahead to have stable and reliable power.

Being briefed by ESCOM CEO Dr. Allexon Chiwaya

“We have two other [private] generating companies who are working towards building solar power stations and they were expected to roll out out from April but with the outbreak of Coronavirus some of the equipment that was in transit has been halted.

Inspecting Aggreko diesel power generators

“But once these two projects will finally roll out they will complement the hydro power system to undergo further rehabilitations and as well as stop relying on the diesel power generators done by Aggreko.”

Muluzi was also taken on a tour of the Aggreko diesel power generator plants situated at the ESCOM Power Station, which he acknowledged that they are very costly and cannot operate continuously.


He also said plans to interconnect power with the neighboring countries, especially Zambia are still under discussion in the same concerted effort to expedite the provision of stable and reliable power.

He took cognizance that in recent past, ESCOM has connected power to many customers including the rural areas and that’s where the challenge is to keep supplying all new and old customers.


“We are also exploring ways to have wind power and there are several stakeholders interested to do this business so that we can remove load shedding completely,” he said.