Malawi President Peter Mutharika on Monday evening addressed the nation but many citizens missed the speech since the majoriry were in power blackout with the ongoing load shedding as the Head of State was outlining his roadmap to end electricity woes.
In his address on public broadcaster MBC Television, Mutharika admitted that energy is critical factor in Malawi’s economy.
“We need good supply of electricity for our industries to run and for our day to day lives. Currently, we are experiencing frequent blackouts because of load shedding. The water table is low and we did not sufficiently invest in energy as a country,” said Mutharika.
Mutharika said his vision is to generate sufficient amount of energy to meet the economic and social demands.
He said his administration has has put in place short and long term measures to end power outages.
Outining the short term roadmap, Mutharika said government will procure 46 Mega Watts diesel peaking generators which will be ready for use in Lilongwe and Mzuzu.
The government also plans acquiring of 78 Mega Watts of Emergency Power Plant by utility power provider ESCOM on lease basis for an initial estimated period of 18 months.
He also talked of the procurement of 70 Mega Watts of PV Solar power from Independent Power Producers (IPPs).
“Currently, a number of IPPs have expressed interest to invest in power production using solar technology. The Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) are being signed soon.
“For Immediate measures, and through Government and ESCOM intervention, dredgers have been deployed at Nkula and Kapichira Power Stations to manage siltation,” said Mutharika.
On long term measures, the Malalwi leader said the carrying capacity of the transmission lines will be increased to about 1,150MW by 2018.
“A 400kV Transmission Line is currently being constructed from Phombeya (Balaka) to Nkhoma. The Line is expected to be completed by September 2018. The Phombeya Sub-Station will be the landing point for the Malawi-Mozambique Interconnector,” informed the President.
He also talked of Hydro Power Projects, saying his government is making “good progress”.
The President pointed out on 170MW plant at Lower Fufu on South Rukuru river in Rumphi District, to be commissioned by 2021; 200MW hydro power plant at Kholombizo on the Shire River to be commissioned by 2022; and 350MW plant at Mpatamanga also on the Shire River to be commissioned by 2021.
Mutharika said Nkula A Rehabilitation and Modernization Project will add 12MW by September 2018; Tedzani III Rehabilitation and Modernization project will add 10MW by October 2017; Tedzani IV Power Project for 18MW will be commissioned by end of 2019.
The 41MW Mbongozi Hydro Electric Power Site on Bua River is being developed by HE Power, an IPP. The project is scheduled to be commissioned by 2020.
The Malawi leader also mentioned of coal fired power projects to diversify and expand sources of power.
“Government is pursuing a coal fired power station project at Kam’mwamba, which is expected to add an extra 300MW to the grid. Everything being equal, it is envisaged that the first fruits of this project will be realised by mid-2019, when the country will be able to tap 100MW of power from this unit and the rest by the end 2020.
“ In addition to Kam’mwamba, there are three other private sector investors who are in discussion with Government to develop coal fired power plants,” said Mutharika.
Mutharika also said Malawi Government is in discussion with InfraCo Africa Energy who have shown interest to develop 80MW in Salima and that the power plant is expected to be commissioned by end 2017.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :