Mutharika opens solar plant construction: More investments to end  blackouts in Malawi

Malawi is a nation in darkness but President Peter Mutharika has said  his administration’s policies and steps  being taken to allow energy mix and private sector participate in  power generation will address the electricity blackouts problem.

Mutharika being briefed by JCM Country Director for Malawi Phillip Leferink about the solar plant in Salima.-Photo by Govati Nyirenda, Mana

Mutharika officialy launches a 60megawatts solar energy at Kazimbe village Traditional Authority Khombedza in Salima.-Photo by Govati Nyirenda, Mana

Mutharika being briefed by JCM Country Director for Malawi Phillip Leferink about the solar plant in Salima.-Photo by Govati Nyirenda, Mana

Mutharika was speaking on Monday when he launched the construction of 60 megawatts solar plant by JCM Matswana Solar Energy at Kanzimbe in Salima.

JCM is expected to sell the 60 megawatts to Escom after they have concluded a power purchase agreement.

“I am concerned with the problems in the energy sector because it is affecting everything. This is why my government is working hard to ensure that more investments in the sector are done,” said Mutharika.

Mutharika said the new solar plant which will add 60 megawatts to the national grid is one step towards ending the blackouts.

“The problem with the energy sector is due to ignorance that the previous governments had towards the sector in the last 50 years, but our government has lined up a number of  investments some of which will involve the private sector while others will be Public Private  Partnership,” said Mutharika.

He said among the projects which seek to give short, medium and long term solutions to the energy woes will include wind energy and the Kammwamba coal powered plant.

Mutharika  therefore appealed to people to be patient as such projects take long time to complete.

Malawi is said to have the world’s lowest electricity consumption levels and its human development index of 0.418 is far below the sub-Saharan regional average, ranking 170 out of 187 countries in the world.

Minister of Energy, Mines and Natural Resources, Aggrey Masi said overdependence on Shire River as a source of hydroelectricity and lack of plans by previous governments to develop the energy sector have contributed heavily to the current blackouts.

“The current administration has worked hard to ensure that these problems are history and the major undertaking towards boosting the sector were the review of the energy policy where among others we have opened for energy mix and allowed the private sector to invest in energy,” said Masi.

JCM Matswana is the first private company to invest in solar energy in the country.

“Our new energy policy will allow for more players in the sector who will produce energy  from various sources to participate,” said Masi.

Masi said government will come up with short, medium and long term measures to end the blackouts.

“The short term measure is the use of generators, and power purchase from Mozambique and Zambia, while medium term includes the completion of Kammwamba and Mpatamanga electricity sites and the long-term measure will include discussions with Mozambique, Zambia and Tanzania on power interconnection,” said Masi.

JCM Power Malawi Country Director, Phylip Leferink said the development of energy is important for the country as it affects the growth of other sectors.

Leferink thanked Mutharika for the new energy policy which is allowing private operators to invest in the sector.

“We are thankful that the country has created an enabling environment for investors to invest in the sector and it is so good that we have the power purchase agreement with Escom which has been concluded,” said Leferink.

Leferick also asked President Mutharika to continue supporting the JCM as it implements the project.

“We promise to work with speed and to complete the project in the shortest time possible. My appeal is for the president to continue supporting the project as we undertake it,” said Leferink.

US ambassador to Malawi Virginia Palmer is on record sayingMalawi needs heavy investment in the energy sector to address the problem of power problems.

The US diplomat said the $350 million five year Millenium Challenge Compact funded by the US government, was designed to improve power distribution but urged the government to raise power tariffs.

“Right now, all the electricity that is being produced is being sold for less than it costs to make it and Escom is losing money,” said Palmer.

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Paul Banda
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Paul Banda

I just wanna say that Peter Mutharika is the best president ever ! If you vote any other president, you will see real corruption and crime becoming the order of the day. Our great leader President Peter A Mutharika is the only one who could command the police service and army to keep law and order in check, while also minimizing corruption. People like so-called Saulos Chilima are fakers and seeking to enrich themselves, and will lead what is left of this country to ruins. So please, let us vote for Peter Mutharika and DPP again in 2019.

bristol
Guest

It is good for government to embark on such projects to lessen blackouts.

Che Wanimiliyoni
Guest
Che Wanimiliyoni

Much as we want investments in electricity generation to compensate for loss of generation capacity when shire river is at its lowest levels in dry season, we should be asking ourselves what we are going to with them or the excess power when shire river is at its peak to meeting our energy demands. ESCOM and govt should revise the electricity distribution policy in order to make maximum use of the small generation capacity by embarking on peri-urban electrification. They should downscale the rural electrification where the only commercially viable entity using the whole multimillion kwacha miles and miles of… Read more »

fyson
Guest
fyson

amalawi tinapenya ma pledge siachilendo mukusimuka pano chifukwa mukufuna pando ena akaleposo

tembo
Guest
tembo

campaign yoka yoka ntawi yonseyi analikuti akazizimuke panopa 2019 out ndala ameneyi akapume sakonda ziko lake komaso achina chaponda ndi antu opasidwa udindo waukaze , Malawi muli ndalama zambiri koma mukuziba ndepano muzipusisa antu nditima solar site , komaso your just pledging get out Utm 2019 ikutulusani mbomamo zama pledge tinatopa Nazi ,indipo abambo inuyo kufuna kupusisa antu mpaka mugwira spanala

Noxy
Guest

Peter Mutharika a man of few words but more action.Keep it up Mr President timakunyadilani you are a natural leader.

Make Malawi Great
Guest
Make Malawi Great

Are you paid to praise Peter kodi? Your comments really sound ignorant most of the times…you must be a paint boy on dpp payroll! KKKKK

Dipipi wa Yudiefu
Guest
Dipipi wa Yudiefu

I don’t know how old you are but if you are below 30yrs then you must be a worried person because you brain must be very exhausted. Maliseche wakalamba mwina nde chifukwa angolankhula zinthu zoti sizikuchitika. Ndiliti lija anayamba kunena zoti kuthima kwamagetsi ikhala mbiri yakale?

JACOB
Guest
JACOB

Thanks Mr president for the wise leadership ena a solver. Aonakuti apangabwanji? koma ife sitikutuluka

Make Malawi Great
Guest
Make Malawi Great

Wise leadership? lol Malawi is still one of the poorest countries in the world where a presidents still commissioning and celebrated a technical college built by Chinese kkkk woke up Malawians we not that stupid! USA presidents do even go when NASA is lunching a rocket to the moon they got a ‘country’ to run!!

Mdzika
Guest
Mdzika

Don’t you think you Make Malawi Great you are a moron yourself ? Too blind to see!

kavibangwa
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kavibangwa

pano nde kumaganiza zimenezi mutadya mokwanira zama genset mxiii.

Patrick Mbewe
Guest
Patrick Mbewe

Apumbwa inu JCM aka Joshua Chisa Mbele anabwera ndi project imeneyi 4-5 yrs ago, funding ilipo kale koma ma bulutu inu kukana chifukwa mmadziwa kuti simudyapo mxiii. Lero zinthu zawola ndiye kuvomera , fokolo zanu. Maliseche uzingoika miyala ya maziko, azasegulira anzako

Zolinga Osati Maloto
Guest
Zolinga Osati Maloto

It is reassuring to learn that the government has short, medium, and long-term plans and strategies for dealing with the continuing power shortage. However, for these plans to have any real value, those tasked with implementing them must rise to the challenge and prove that they are sufficiently committed, effective and efficient.

Have those who stole vast amounts of generator oil been brought to book yet?

Dipipi wa Yudiefu
Guest
Dipipi wa Yudiefu

DPP is using the money for campaign.

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