The longstanding disagreement between Electricity Generation Company Egenco and Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) is coming to an end as the two institutions are revising terms of their agreement.
This is what Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) Chief Executive Officer Henry Kachaje told members of the Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises Committee of Parliament Wednesday.
Kachaje said the issue would be resolved in the next few months as the two parties are revising terms of their agreement.
On Wednesday, the Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises Committee of Parliament separately summoned the Ministry of Energy and Mera to get an insight into how the disagreement was being resolved.
According to the initial contract between Egenco and Escom, the power generator has been charging Escom a capacity fee even if Escom was not using the power.
The parliamentary committee said while Egenco was claiming that Escom owed it some money, Escom was also claiming that Egenco owes it, which became a bone of contention.
Kachaje, however, told the meeting that the two sides are now into discussions.
“Where we have reached now is an agreement where Escom and Egenco are finalising the terms of engagement they are going to have going forward, what rates they are going to be charging each other and the methodology,” Kachaje said.
He said it was a great move for Mera because the issue has been outstanding for a long time and described the situation as a learning curve.
Earlier in the day, Principal Secretary for Energy Patrick Matanda told the committee that the ministry could not act as a mediator because, according to law, it was Mera that was supposed to mediate.
Egenco is the producer of power in Malawi while Escom buys, transmits and distributes it to the end-user.
Chairperson for the Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises Committee Isaac Kaneka said the committee invited Mera as regulator of the energy sector.
“The regulator has come out to say there were some discrepancies but, after arbitration, they decided to stop the arbitration and that they resolve the issue between themselves,” Kaneka said.
Mathews Kasanda is a journalist who holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from University of Malawi (The Polytechnic).
In 2015, Media Institute of Southern Africa awarded him the Best Print Media Education Journalist of the Year accolade.
He joined Times Group Newsroom in September 2019.