As power interruptions continue to hold the country at ransom, affecting operations of both the private and public sectors, the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) has confirmed plans to tap power from Tanzania, adding on to its earlier plans to tap electricity from Mozambique and Zambia.
Government, through the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Natural Resources, has confirmed that the World Bank is funding feasibility studies for the project.
Low water levels in Shire River, where Escom taps water for hydro-electric power generation, have reduced Malawi’s generation capacity from 351 megawatts to 165 megawatts, forcing Escom to look beyond borders for solutions to the challenge.
Director of Transmission at Escom, Jeford Banda, confirmed that the Zambia sub-station has already been built.
“The line has already been extended all the way to Mchinji which is very close, just about 25 kilometres from Chipata town,” he said.
Banda further said talks around Malawi-Mozambique, Malawi-Zambia interconnections are now at transmission level, a stage where Malawi is now working on interconnecting its power grid to the other countries.
“It has taken long but we are making progress. The feasibility studies are also progressing well, particularly between Malawi and Mozambique and also we are pursuing plans to tap power from Zambia.”
Commenting on fears that the price of electricity will escalate after the agreements are completed, Banda said economic fundamentals are also part of the factors being taken into consideration.
“These are things that are currently going on even with the independent power producers. We are trying to balance, what the market can afford, what are our economical scales, but sometimes the power is auctioned and it is reasonably sold,” he said.
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