Zambia has commissioned the export of 20 megawatts of power to Malawi at a function which took place at Mwami Boarder in Mchinji which will directly benefit Kasungu, Mchinji and part of Lilongwe.
Malawi is buying power from Zambia as it is only able to produce 300 megawatts of electricity and currently has a deficit of 200 megawatts.
The country’s Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining Aggrey Massi and his Zambian counterpart Mathew Nkhuwa switched on the Chitipa-Mchinji 33KV cross power supply line.
“This is direct power from Zambia meaning [that] it will be on all time. If people were experiencing seven hours of blackouts, now it should be lesser to about three or four hours,” said Massi.
He said the 20 megawatts is just a pilot start, saying a further 50 megawatts of power will be imported to improve power supply in the country.
Zambia Electricity Corporation (ZESCO) and Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) in August this year signed a five-year agreement for the 20 mva electricity power supply and Malawi has paid K400 million for the power deal.
On his part, Zambian Minister of Energy Matthews Nkuwa said the signing of the power supply agreement is in line with Zambia’s vision to be the power hub of electricity trade within the region by 2025.
Nkuwa said their vision is based on the fact that as a land locked country, Zambia is in a unique position to facilitate regional electricity trade.
He noted that the agreement is meant to interconnect the two power systems at transmission level, for the benefit of both countries.
Nkuwa added that the planned interconnections will enable increased trade of power resources between the two countries and the region.
“Am also aware that our brothers in Malawi have been supplying us with power to Lundazi and Chama for many years, we want to saythank you for this guesture that has helped the two Zambian districts to haveaccess to grid electricity well before ZESCO could implement its own connectionto the district,” Nkuwa said.
He said this project will help to improve the livesMalawians.
“Electricity is a catalyst for economic development, therefore with the districts now connected to the shared grid, it is both our governments’ expectation that the economies of our countries will also attract investors to take care of the increasing populations thus, making it easy for people to live a better life,” he said
Nkhuwa commended Malawi government through ESCOM for supplying Zambia with power to Lundazi and Chama districts that has helped the two districts have access to electricity.
ESCOM Chief Executive Officer, Allexon Chiwaya said the commissioning of the Chipata-Mchinji cross border connection is the beginning ofthe long relationship with ZESCO, as ESCOM is negotiating for another 50 megawatts from Chipata to Bunda roundabout, and from Chipata to Nkhoma about 500 megawatts.
“The connections from Chipata to Nkhoma and Bunda turn off will be funded by the Millenium Challenge account- Malawi, we are also negotiating to have power interconnection fromMathambo in Mozambique to Bombeya in Malawi,” he stated.
Part of Lilongwee that are expected ti benefit from the line are Likuni, Chinsapo, Area 47, Area 25 and Chitipi, among others.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :