Malawi to pay Mozambique $100m monthly on electricity

Malawi government is expected to be paying about $100 million every month to Mozambique once the interconnection electricity deal is in play, former deputy minister of energy and mines has revealed.

Vera Faramenga Chelewani, who is also MP for Nsanje South, told Parliament on Wednesday that Malawi tends to lose out a lot on the electricity deal as the country is expected to be paying the Mozambican government $100 million monthly.

Chelewani further disclosed that government is expected to pay about $480,000 million up front before start tapping electricity from Mozambique to improve the current black out.

Chilewani: Mozambique will rip us

“There is a need for government to come out in the open and tell the nation how much we will be paying for the electricity we will be tapping from Mozambique because am told the deal will be costing this country about $100 million every month in payment, which is high figure. Government should explain how we will benefit from such deal,” Chelewani told the Parliament.

She added: “Mozambique will rip us on this deal. This is not viable. Why should Malawians pay over US$100 million as an initial capital before the project commences?”

Chelewani said instead of paying such amount, government could use the  funds to build new hydro electricity power stations to improve electricity supply in the country.

However, in response, Minister of Energy and Mines Cassim Chilumpha quashed Chelewani’s revelations, saying the lawmaker was telling the nation lies as issues have completely changed in the current deal.

“It is not correct that Mozambique has no capacity to supply us power. I was in Mozambique myself on Saturday and let me tell this House that issues on the power deal have completely changed as opposed to the past,” Chilumpha told parliamentarians.

Chilumpha said Chilewani presented information “the way it was when the DPP was wrecking this country.”

He disclosed that the Chief Executive of ESCOM, the Principal Secretary for Energy and Mining and other officials in the sector are in Mozambique “discussing everything, every part of the agreements.”

Chilumpha stressed: “Mozambique has got the capacity and they will provide the electricity.”

The minister who did not disclose how much the nation will be paying once the electricity deal materialize said that his ministry will come up with a full statement on the transactions of the deal.

Chilumpha read a letter from the World Bank which said connecting to Mozambique is the quickest means of solving power problems in Malawi other than establishing new power plants which will take six years to complete.

Government is expected to start importing electricity from Mozambique to improve the current power outage which is affected the economic growth of the country. The deal was renewed after late Bingu wa Mutharika’s administration cancelled saying it was costly to the country.

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