Malawi President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera has hinted that the Mozambique-Malawi Power Interconnector Project will provide a “good rhythm” for the subsequent implementation of the Tanzania-Malawi Power Interconnector and our future connection to the East African Power Pool to which Mozambique will also be interested to trade power with East African Countries.
Chakwera said he was motivated that the construction phase of the project will create over 1, 000 jobs to both Malawians and Mozambicans and thus has no doubt that people of the two countries will give their full support to this project in order to translate this political consensus for change into concrete action on the ground.
Chakwera made these remarks on Thursday when he jointly presided over the launch of the project in Tete, Mozambique, on Thursday.
“Let me, therefore, take this opportunity to that World Bank, KfW and the European Union for providing financial resources to make this project a reality. I should also mention that this project will cushion Malawi against future power losses due to unforeseen and uncertain circumstances. This interconnector will assist in closing the gap between power supply and demand in Malawi which is adversely affecting our agriculture, the manufacturing industry, and delivery of services,” he said.
Chakwera further stated that the project provide a backup to our power system in form of diversified external sources of power, especially to enable some redundancy in Malawi’s power system and to allow for outages and refurbishment of existing generation plants.
He lamented that power losses are adversely affecting agriculture, the manufacturing industry, and delivery of services in Malawi; hence, the coming in of the interconnector is a timely response to the need for a backup.
“We are confident that the line could become a source of revenue for Malawi in the near future when the country will be exporting power to the region once the domestic supply is met with the construction of our strategic projects such as the Mpatamanga, Kholombidzo and Fufu Hydropower Projects, among others,” said Chakwera.
“This project is regarded as a regional project by SADC as it will also enable Malawi to connect to the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) and trade in power in the region. Therefore, this project is integral to the efforts of SAPP to debottleneck and expand the regional network; create conditions to expand access to millions of people in the region living without electricity; and decarbonise the SAPP power systems, which are currently dominated by coal generation,” he added.
Malawi and Mozambique were recently hit by Cyclone Ana early this year, which led to the damage of one of Malawi’s strategic hydropower stations, called Kapichira, resulting in the whole installed capacity of 129MW being taken out of the system.
This has exacerbated power deficits in the country and as President Chakwera indicated, it may take some months to have this 129MW back online.