Govt Commits to Support Independent Power Producers to Ease Energy Challenges Facing the Country

Malawi Government through the Ministry of Energy says it is committed to continue supporting independent power producers to alleviate electricity challenges derailing development of the country.

The remarks were made by Energy Minister Honorable Ibrahim Matola when he visited the 80 KWp Solar PV Mini Grid located in Mchinji district.

“The Tonse Alliance government, led by His Excellency Dr. Lazarus Chakwera, has a great plan for this country’s electricity generation. The president wants the nation to have 1000 MW by 2025 and Independent power producers are crucial in this journey. My visit to this minigrid demonstrates the government’s dedication to assisting independent power producers,” he stated.

The Minister said he was astounded to see how the presence of electricity has changed the lives of the local populace.

“I met and spoke with women who owned tuckshops, bars, and poultry farms, among other businesses. When I went to one maize mill, I also ran across a specific woman. She narrated to me many challenges she encountered when going to the neighboring country of Zambia in search of a maize mill.

“There is a man who operates a cooking oil expeller where farmers in the area go with their sunflower seeds for free production of cooking oil. The owner of the expeller collects the residues, which he also sells in Zambia and Malawi for use as animal feed. These are but a few instances of the benefits that electricity can have on people’s lives,” Matola said.

The Energy Minister said government will continue to encourage the development of more minigrids in areas where communities are 10KM away from the grid to complement ESCOM’s efforts. He therefore commended UNDP, GEF, Community Energy Malawi, and personnel from his ministry “for a job well done”.

Commissioned in 2019, the plant has 726 connections of which 35 are Businesses, 2 maize mills and 7 Social Institutions including a primary school. There are also over 300 people more on the waiting list. The construction was done with financial and technical support from Government of Malawi, UNDP and GEF and it is being operated and managed by Community Energy Malawi social enterprise.

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