Veep Chilima Chairs meeting with ESCOM, EGENCO, MERA and others.

By: Caphus Limbie

Vice President Saulos Klaus Chilima said he was pleased today having chaired a meeting with the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM), Electricity Generation Company (EGENCO), Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (MERA), the Ministry of Energy and the Public Sector Reforms team.

“As you might recall, on 22nd July, 2020 I met the leadership of ESCOM and EGENCO to discuss a two year roadmap for power generation to achieve steady power supply. However, during that meeting I discovered that there were a number of bottlenecks that needed to be dealt with first.For example, EGENCO presented a number of challenges choking its operations which include billions of unpaid electricity bills sold to ESCOM; the non-conclusive unbundling process that has left EGENCO without legal title of assets.” Wrote the Vice President.

Chilima added that ESCOM – as a power supplier – presented a number of challenges too including the K1.8 billion average monthly bill which EGENCO charges but ESCOM feels the charges are wrongly calculated therefore not sustainable.

He expressed that the financial and asset dispute in question had been a hanging operational sword on the heads of the two institutions and it seemed there was a deadlock. In fact, ESCOM was disputing by more than 50% the figure that EGENCO presented as ESCOM’s bill.

The Vice President wrote he called for a meeting with relevant government stakeholders to resolve the matter.

“I am therefore pleased to announce that the financial and asset dispute between ESCOM and EGENCO will be a thing of the past effective Friday next week, a development that will bring the whole unbundling process to its fair conclusion.” Said Chilima.

Chilima also said, On Tuesday, Treasury will meet with the two institutions to spell out the way forward following the resolutions that have been made.

“If we are to move forward as a country we must learn to face obstacles head on and avoid being decisively indecisive.” He advised.

On the resolutions that have been made the VP said ESCOM will STOP buying fuel (diesel) for Aggreko to generate power using generators.

“We have given ESCOM 30 days to resolve this with Aggreko. It does not make any economic sense for ESCOM to be buying fuel to supply to Aggreko and then the same Aggreko sells power to ESCOM using the same fuel that ESCOM provided. We have advised ESCOM to avoid signing agreements that do not make financial sense. After resolving these outstanding issues, what remains now is to put down a two year joint roadmap between ESCOM and EGENCO that will ensure that the current stable power supply is maintained or improved with surplus within the stipulated two-year time frame.” He said.

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