The Government of Malawi says the coming in of the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) will attract more independent power producers (IPPs) to invest in the country.
This was disclosed in Lilongwe by the Principal secretary in the Ministry of Energy Engineer Alfonso Chikuni during the opening of the three-day SAPP roadshow in Lilongwe.
According to Chikuni if SAPP starts operating in the country it will give room for more IPPs to engage with the regional block on investment opportunities in the energy sector as Malawi is still struggling to be connected to the pool’s grid.
He added that joining SAPP will help the country to have enough power for the people in the country and many households will be connected to electricity.
“The idea is that we should be able to buy power across the region at the same time sell the power to other countries. As of now we are only buying power from local producers but going forward the idea is that we should be able to buy power from other region players. So we want to join this international market. There are countries like Tanzania, and Zambia who have excess power so the idea is other countries like Malawi where it is a deficit we should be able to buy from these countries so that there is no shortage of power in the country,” said Chikuni.
Chikuni also noted that Malawi will soon join the grid through the Mozambique interconnecter, and if that happens the IPPS will help the country to also sell its excess power to other countries.
In his remarks, ESCOM CEO Kamkwamba Kumwenda said there are several projects they are doing to increase the power supply in the country.
“We have just finished a study of an integrated resource plan we just finished in September where we have identified projects for generation and distribution and other projects to enhance the efficiency of the sector in addition to the new infrastructure we also identified needs for renewal and rehabilitation in the energy sector infrastructure. Currently, at nearly 20 Percent connectivity to the country, we are the lowest connected in the world so we should work very hard to rapidly change the outlook,”.
” So infrastructure is key to making that come to reality and we hope that with proper planning we should have the investments that are required,” said Kamkwamba.
Commenting on the same Executive Director for Southern African Power Pool, Stephen Dihwa said the joining of this network of member states will enable Malawi to engage in electricity trading, allowing it to sell excess electricity and explore opportunities for purchasing power from neighbouring countries.
Meanwhile, the deadline for the Malawi-Mozambique interconnector project has been postponed from its initial target of December to approximately March or April 2023 due to technical challenges encountered during the project’s implementation.