The country’s sole hydro power generator, Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom), says the pending interconnection deal with neighboring Mozambique would arrest the importunate power outage in the country.
Escom Public Relations Manager Kitty Chingota told Nyasa Times in an exclusive interviewthat the power service provider has failed to live to its billing due to what she described as lack of generation capacity, a contributing factor to the country’s annoying black outs.
She said the current demand of electricity is currently at 274 megawatts while demanding is pegged at 350 megawatts making it difficult for customers to enjoy the services without disturbances.
“Our problem has been lack of capacity to generate enough electricity to carter for all our customers. However, we’re optimistic that once talks with our Mozambican counterparts are finalized and we start importing electricity then all that will be history.
“We’re aware that patience on part of our customers has been thin for some time but we’re trying our level best to deliver to all Malawians. That is our goal, soon we will be able to supply power all day every day because our capacity would have enhanced,” explained Chingota.
The institution, which despite raking billions through revenue, has failed to live up to people’s expectations due to what some pundits have attributed to poor management encapsulated by political interference by the previous regimes.
Two way fold
Chingota further disclosed that Malawi also stand to benefit from the deal as it would also be in position to export electricity to its neighbor as it is currently doing with another neighbor Zambia.
She disclosed that second phase of Kapichira hydro electric power station is nearing completion which she said has capacity to generate 64 megawatts.
Added she: “The Mozambique deal is a two way fold in a sense that Escom will also be exporting electricity to some parts of Mozambique.”
Recipe for investor confidence
Meanwhile, Chingota is hopeful that once the deal sees light of day, then foreign investors would flock into the country for potential businesses especially in the manufacturing sector.
“The coming in of the interconnection deal is blessing in disguise as it has capacity to boost foreign investment in the manufacturing industry because of the adequate generation capacity we will have,” said the visibly confident Chingota.
Non-committal on money involved
Asked to comment on how much would be required to pay Mozambique, Chingota was non-committal saying that aspect is being looked into.
She however, disputed reports that Malawi would be paying a whooping $100 million to Mozambique monthly, as alleged by former Deputy Minister of Energy and Mining Vera Faramenga-Chelewani in Parliament recently.
“Frankly, the issue of amount of money to be paid to Mozambique is being handled between the two governments and it is beyond my jurisdiction to comment on that but I don’t think it is that huge as it being alleged,” concluded Chingota.
The Malawi-Mozambique electricity interconnection deal has received overwhelming support from the World Bank despite being despised by the late Bingu wa Mutharika regime.
When she came into office, Malawi leader Mrs. Joyce Banda made her maiden official visit to Mozambique to negotiate the faltering deal which she said is recipe for easing the country’s black outs.
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