(Bloomberg) -- Mali is in talks with lenders to restructure loans made to the state energy company as it takes steps to address the sector’s shortcomings amid unprecedented power cuts.

About half of Energy du Mali SA’s 600 billion CFA franc ($989 million) debt is owed to banks, Minister of Energy and Water Resources Bintou Camara said on state-broadcaster ORTM.

“We are currently negotiating a memorandum of understanding with the banks to restructure the debt,” Camara said. “We want to reschedule the debt with the banks over 10 years, with a one-year grace period.”

The rest of Energy du Mali’s debt is owed to suppliers and operators, Camara said. The company increased blackouts to 19 hours a day this year from last year when supply was down only in the dry season to 10 hours a day. Load-shedding is worsening because supply cannot keep pace with an average demand growth rate of 10% a year, Camara said.

Read More: Mali Forecasts 5.4% Growth Rate in 2024, up From 4.7% Last Year

Power supply by the company, also known by its French acronym EDM, grew 2.8% to 2,887 megawatts in 2022, according to its annual report.

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