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3.3 megawatts added to power grid

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Ibrahim Matola

About 3.3 megawatts of electricity have been added to the national grid after the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) signed a power purchase agreement with independent power producer, Cedar Energy.

The signing of the agreement took place on Saturday at Cedar Energy’s hydro power plant along Mloza River in Mulanje District.

According to Cedar Energy Technical Director William Steen, the power realised from the hydro power plant has the capacity to power 2,500 households in the districts.

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“Given that we are at the end of two lines which are the Phalombe feeder and the Mulanje feeder, injecting power at this particular location stabilises the voltage and minimises the downtime of the power line,” he said.

According to the pact, the firm will be selling the product to the electricity market single buyer Power Market Limited for a period of 20 years at a price of 10 cents per kilowatt per hour.

Minister of Energy Ibrahim Matola said adding power to the national grid means that the country is moving in the right direction towards the realisation of 1,000 megawatts by 2025.

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He added that it is encouraging that investors are interested in investing in the power market which is good news for both micro and macro economy because availability of power is one of the drivers of growth.

Escom Chief Executive Officer Kamkwamba Kumwenda said the power is affordable because it is coming from hydro.

“With the coming in of Cedar Energy, we are talking of 75 megawatts added to the national grid from IPPs and we want our systems to be as smooth as possible; therefore, we are encouraging IPPs to bring more of hydro and thermo power, which will bring stability to electricity availability,” he said.

With Kapichira knocked out due to the effects of Tropical Storm Ana, Malawi’s electricity generation hovers below 250 megawatts against an ever increasing demand.

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