- The Electricity Supply Commission of Malawi (ESCOM) says the Malawi-Mozambique power interconnection is a profitable business venture as Malawi will be able to sell her power to the rest of the SADC region (Southern Africa). The Malawi-Mozambique power interconnection, which will tap power from River Zambezi, is in the process of making.
Escom acting Chief Executive Officer, Kandi Padambo said in an interview recently once the deal is finalised, Malawi will be in a position to sell her power to all the countries in the SADC region because Mozambique is interconnected with Zimbabwe, Zambia and South Africa.
"I want to assure you that Malawi is the biggest beneficiary of this project. This is a very profitable business venture as we will be able to sell our power to the rest of the SADC region because Mozambique has power links with them," said Mr Padambo.
Mr Padambo said currently electricity costs three cents per kilowatt and Escom would be able to sell the same at five cents per kilowatt to other countries and therefore enhance its revenue generation capacity.
However, Mr Padambo said the country would take three years to witness economic potential of the project, as the first two years will be used to repay loan to the World Bank (WB) and the African Development Bank (ADB).
He added that the power sharing agreement would enable Escom to close some of its power stations for rehabilitation. "With this arrangement, we will be able to close some of our power stations for rehabilitation without any power interruption. For instance, Nkula A which has a capacity of 24 megawatts has never been rehabilitated since its commissioning in 1966," he said.
The chief executive, however, attributed the delays in the project to its failure to finalise the power supply agreement with Hydro Cabora Bassa of Mozambique, which has also delayed the acquisition of funds from World Bank.
"Initially we entered into a US$ 3 per kilowatt power supply agreement with Hydro Caborabassa in 2003 but they surprised us last year when they raised it to US$ 21.75 per kilowatt, which we could not afford and we were looking for another partner instead," said Mr Padambo. However, Mr Padambo said they would proceed finalising the deal with them because they have agreed to revert to the old amount of US$ 3 per kilowatt through serious discussions that have been going on between them.
Malawi and Mozambique signed a power-sharing memorandum of understanding in 1998 that will see the country importing between 50 and 100 megawatts from River Zambezi in Mozambique. Currently ESCOM has four power generation plants in Malawi, namely Kapichira with a power generation capacity of 64.8 megawatts, Wovwe with 4.5 megawatts, Nkula A and B with 124 megawatts and Tedzani 1 2 and 3 with 106.7 megawatts.
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