Electricity transmission upgrade completed | The Times Group

Post was last updated: September 22, 2018

By Dumbani Mzale, Contributor:

ENERGISED—Chintheche Substation

Malawi’s electricity transmission backbone has been upgraded from 132kV to 400kV, following commissioning and energising of the Phombeya and Nkhoma substations in Balaka and Lilongwe district, respectively.

The substations have been constructed under the $350.7 million Millennium Challenge Account (MCA)-Malawi funded by the United States.

They have been connected by a 173-kilometer long 400kV overhead transmission line passing through Balaka, Ntcheu, Dedza and Lilongwe districts.

The transmission line was energised Tuesday.

The upgrading of Malawi’s power transmission system to 400kV means power generated from Nkula, Tedzani and Kapichira power stations would be transmitted to Lilongwe and the entire Central Region at a higher speed.

MCA-Malawi Chief Executive Officer, Dye Mawindo, said Phombeya Substation is pivotal for the Malawi-Mozambique interconnection while the Nkhoma Substation is earmarked for the Zambia interconnection

“Connecting these two substations to the national grid is a major milestone under the infrastructure component as they provide critical facilities Malawi needs to interconnect with neighboring countries and join the Southern African Power Pool,” Mawindo said.

Mawindo said the interconnectors would also give Malawi an opportunity to trade power—buying when in deficit and selling when in surplus in the future.

Currently, MCA-Malawi has connected almost all substations to the national grid, constructed or rehabilitated under the Compact.

Recently, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining, Patrick Matanda, said Malawi Compact had laid the foundation for a modern power sector to catalyse private investors and regional partners’ funding to build on further investment in the power sector.

The five-year Compact, which ended Wednesday, has modernised Malawi’s power Infrastructure, supported reforms in power sector institutions and worked with communities around the Shire River catchment areas to reduce costly disruptions to Malawi’s downstream hydropower generation by investing in weed and sediment management and implementing better environmental and natural resource management practices in upstream areas.

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