Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mines, Atupele Muluzi has said his ministry will make sure that Electricity Supply Commission of Malawi (ESCOM) operate independently without political influence as one way of making it deliver quality services to its clients.
“We would like to separate the functions of ESCOM into electricity production, distribution and marketing and this will be run by autonomous institutions away from political influence, I will endeavor to promote professionalism and limit political interference in its daily operations,” he said.
The Minister said after 50 years of independence the country is supposed to have an ESCOM that reduces the number of power outages by at least 50 percent in 2014-15 and even lower in the subsequent years, reforms power tariffs and addresses inefficiencies.
“We need ESCOM to improve its customer service in its offices and all services it offers and it should set a standard of performance and service delivery amongst all public sector,” he said.
ESCOM is the sole generator, transmitter, distributor and retailer of electricity in Malawi with current transmissions comprising of 1274 kilometres of 134kilovolts lines, 1121 kilometres of 66 kilovolts lines and 988.5 megavolt amperes of grid transformers.
At present only nine per cent of the population have access to electricity with an installed capacity of 352 megawatts yet the growth potential of the country relies on energy which is very limited and continually affects public and private investments.
Muluzi, therefore, said the country needs to focus on having a vibrant ESCOM and energy sector which will help the country meet the maximum demand for hydro electrical power of 600 megawatts by 2015.
He said government needs to promote active Public Private Partnership in the energy sector if the country is to achieve desired industrial and economic growth by upgrading transmission and distribution systems to reduce energy loss.
Muluzi has been familiarization tour for his ministry and visited Escom offices, he had also been to see some projects of the northern region including Wovwe Hdyo Power Plant in Karonga.