EGENCO to host high-level Association of Power Utilities of Africa annual meetings as CDHIB supports with K1m

CDH Investment Bank (CDHIB) recognises that for the country’s energy sector to be strong, there is need for collaborative efforts in partnership with other African countries — thus its support of K1 million donated to Electricity Generation Company (EGENCO) towards its hosting of the all-important annual meetings of the Association of Power Utilities of Africa (APUA).

The annual APUA meetings brings together power and energy players from Africa and other continents to deliberate on matters affecting the energy sector and this year’s starts on Saturday, June 3-9 at Bingu International Conference Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe.

Mafuleka hands over the investment to EGENCO’s Videlia Mluwira

In presenting the support on Wednesday, CDHIB’s Chief Treasury Officer, Zondwayo Mafuleka said it is part of the bank’s mantra to partner with all stakeholders in the economic sector and energy is one of them, saying the meetings will support the national agenda to propel the energy sector development in the country and ultimately promote economic growth.

“We firmly believe that our investment in the annual meetings will contribute towards improving our nation’s socio-economic status by enhancing our innovations in the energy sector,” he said.

“The important role that energy plays in our country cannot be over emphasized. When power is compromised, businesses — including ours — are greatly affected as we rely on electricity all the time.

“Thus we thought it prudent to support EGENCO towards successful hosting of the summit taking cognizance that the delegates are going to share notes with their colleagues in the industry from across Africa for the benefit of the development of our energy sector.”

In her remarks, Videlia Mluwira — EGENCO’s director of corporate services & company secretary — applauded CDHIB for the support and assured that the company is now very ready to host the meetings which will attract chief executive officers (CEOs) and technocrats from power utilities across Africa.

She emphasized that the event is an opportunity for Malawi to learn from other African power utilities to enhance energy sector, which is a hub of development.

“We are seriously taking our role in the economic development of the country and we will take every opportunity to learn from our colleagues to serve better.”

She added that CDHIB’s support shows the power of collaboration to assist towards driving the energy sector in Malawi and in Africa as we strive to improve power generation.

Several other corporates have invested towards the meetings which include National Bank of Malawi; NICO Group; Old Mutual Malawi; LMD Trading House; FDH Bank;  in support of the event set review progress made in the industry for the past year and also plan and review the plans for the year ahead — in the goal to achieve efficient and excellent delivery of service across Africa.

A media kit for the event says APUA, formerly designated as the Union of Power Producers and Distributors in Africa (UPDEA), was established in 1970 with its headquarters in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.

Under its current name of APUA, “the entity has undergone some transformations by becoming an association which provides value for its members”.

“One of the mainstays of the transformation of APUA is the plan to establish an African Network of Centers of Excellence in Electricity — with the support of the French Development Cooperation Agency (AFD) and the African Development Bank (AfDB).

“The 2023 annual meetings will be the first annual meetings under the term of office of SENELEC (Senegal) as current chair of APUA (2022-2025) following the memorable Dakar 50 years anniversary Congress held in July 2022.

“The purpose of the meetings is to take stock of the activities carried out over the one-year period; to discuss the status of scientific activities, projects and reforms implemented and projected in the sector.”

It is also to promote the activities of member companies, develop South-South cooperation in order to encourage the emergence of a local African industry of electrical equipment and services to give impetus to the development of the sector.

A special focus will be on the strategic leadership and governance of the power sector. Power utilities as major player should take the lead and its managers (the utility CEOs) will have an open exchange with APUA main sponsor; the African Development Bank vice-presidency on energy, electricity, green growth & climate on the right transition for African and determine quick win projects to launch to this end.

EGENCO further says the meetings will bring together, among others, active, affiliate and associate members, CEOs, directors-general, general administrators, African power utilities, major players in the electric energy sector and African electricity companies.

The participants in this category will include financial backers such as the African Development Bank as main sponsor, the French Development Agency (AFD) and the World Bank, high-level officials, African electric and renewable energy operators, manufacturers and suppliers of electrical equipment and materials, experts, consultants, and consultancies.

Last month, Finance Minister Sosten Gwengwe recognised EGENCO as topping the list of best performing state-owned enterprises in the trading sector alongside Lilongwe Water Board and Airport Development Limited.

This follows, among others, the company’s success to restore power generation which was lost at Kapichira Power Station due to Cyclone-Ana-induced floods in January 2022.

In April, when Minister of Energy Ibrahim Matola attended the 9th edition of the Mozambique Mining & Energy Conference (MMEC) in Maputo he also made special acknowledgment of EGENCO’s  achievement for bringing back the generation at Kapichira — saying it demonstrated that many solutions can be found locally rather than relying solely on external expertise.

After over a year, EGENCO first restored 64.4 MW from the two machines out of four that Kachipira started generating on April 5. The four machines at Kapichira generate 129.4MW, which was all lost when its dam and other infrastructure got washed away in January last year through the floods.

Then EGENCO proceeded to bring back their third machine on April 12 to jump to 346MW before rolling out the fourth to gain all 129.6MW to the national grid as of May 9th and Gwaza said: “We believe that we the 4th and final machine now back online, the country will continue to enjoy good electricity.”

Restoration efforts were rolled out immediately that included redesigning a storm-resilient infrastructure as long term solution and constructing a primary cofferdam to re-divert Shire River water back to the intake to restore power generation.

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