Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining, Bintony Kutsaira says Malawi will have access to more electricity from neighbouring countries in the SADC region through regional integration in the electricity sub-sector .
Speaking at the 54th Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) meeting in Lilongwe on Thursday, Kutsaira said the meeting comes at an opportune moment for ESCOM and the Government of Malawi, since this is a time when significant steps have finally been made to get Malawi connected to SAPP grid.
“We are looking forward to becoming one of the beneficiaries of regional integration in the electricity sub-sector in SADC. This we hope will lead to our country having access to more electricity from our neighbours,” said Kutsaira.
He also noted that SAPP is a regional facility for the promotion and implementation of projects concerning electricity and trading and marketing in the SADC region.
“All the committees have been meeting here in Lilongwe and today it’s executive committee, as you know Malawi has been a member for the SAPP region facility but it has not participated in the trading because we were not connected to the international agreement. Now that you are aware that we have signed the project called Malawi- Mozambique interconnector which is being funded by World Bank and that we have gone so far in the construction of the line from Mozambique to Malawi, this is indeed a great achievement because when we get into SAPP connection we will be able to do the spreading of electricity, we will be able to buy power when we need it,” said Kutsaira.
According to the minister, sometimes Malawi may depend on diesel engine and generators but mostly the country will buy power from anywhere else, whether it is from Mozambique or Zambia.
“Where there is excess power Malawi will be able to access the electricity through Mozambique-Malawi interconnector which is at an advanced stage right now,” he said.
On his part, Chief Executive Officer at ESCOM Dr Allexon Chiwaya disclosed that the interconnections are amongst several interventions that the company is undertaking to make electric supply stable and reliable in Malawi.
“The current situation is that we still have some deficit in the availability of supply especially in the dry months of July to December. This is so because our hydrology remains seasonal in nature and that has a huge bearing of the availability of electricity as most of the supply is hydro generated,” said Chiwaya.
The Malawi-Mozambique interconnector Project is being funded by World Bank and Kutsaira has assured that the government is working so that there should be no delay because Malawi is desperate to have more power.