Malawi’s Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining, Bintony Kutsaira, has challenged energy experts in Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries to apply their minds in finding lasting solutions to power problems in the region.
Kutsaira said as economies continue growing in fulfilment of the SADC industrialisation thrust, the region needs more power now than every before.
He was speaking in Lilongwe on Thursday when he opened the 54th Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) Management Committee meeting. The Electricity Supply Corporatoin of Malawi (ESCOM) is hosting the meeting, which has brought together energy experts from SAPP member states.
Kutsaira implored energy experts to apply their minds and bring to the table solutions that will keep the lights on, commerce ticking, industry running and agriculture flourishing even in these challenging environments.
“Electricity is one of the critical driving forces for economic development and you are at the centre of making it work,” said Kutsaira.
The minister said SADC Region has huge energy resource potential in the form of coal, hydro and renewable energy that need to be exploited in an economically sound and sustainable manner for the benefit of the whole region.
He stressed that as the region goes forward, there is need to tap from the huge and diverse power generation resources the region has.
At this moment, Kutsaira commended SAPP for assisting Zambia and Zimbabwe to meet some of the power shortfalls, which the two countries are currently experiencing due to the drought that affected the Kariba Complex.
“The Kariba Lake level is very low and; hence, there is reduced water allocation for power generation at the two hydro-power stations. I hope that, as experts in the power sector, you will come up with solutions that will avert the recurrence of such scenarios,” he said.
ESCOM chief executive officer, Dr. Alexon Chiwaya, said the corporation is undertaking interconnections as an intervention to make electricity supply stable and reliable in Malawi.
Chiwaya said Malawi continues to grapple with power blackouts during dry months of July to December largely because the country’s hydrology remains seasonal in nature and that has a huge bearing on the availability of electricity.
“Going forward, we expect some improvement. There are some generation projects, which are in the pipeline being implemented by independent power producers, including the State-owned Electricity Generation Company and through through public private partnerships,” he said.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :