By William Kumwembe:
Energy Generation Company (Egenco), a State-run firm established to generate power, has unveiled a 15-year ambitious strategic plan which targets increasing installed electricity capacity to 1,687.5 Megawatts (MW) by 2033.
This comes as less than 12 percent of the population has access to electricity with an installed capacity 367.37MW.
Malawian firms consistently cite weaknesses in the electricity sector as one of the major obstacles to doing business.
When power cuts out, big firms must either shut down or increase the cost of production by using fuel generators.
Speaking Thursday evening in Blantyre during the unveiling of the strategic plan that will run from 2018 to 2033, Egenco Board Chairperson, Lloyd Muhara, said the plan would see the country diversifying to use of clean energy.
“Egenco must live true to its mission of generating reliable and diversified power by investing in new power plants in a sustainable manner.
“The plan will raise the existing installed capacity and diversify the power sources to provide adequate and reliable power,” Muhara said.
Egenco has not been able to generate power to its maximum capacity due to dwindling water levels in Lake Malawi as hydro-power remains Malawi’s major source of electricity.
To diversify sourcing, sole electricity supplying comp any, Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) has been engaging independent power producers (IPPs) to generate electricity in the areas of hydro, solar, wind and diesel.
To date, 20 power purchase agreements have been signed between Escom and the IPPs.
On his part, Egenco Chief Executive Officer, William Liabunya, said the strategic plan gives a strong foothold in the liberalised electricity market in the country.
He said the plan bridges the divide between Egenco’s installed capacity of 367.37MW and the 2018 projected 529MW.
“Investment in the power sector have inherently long lead times; hence, this is a rolling plan which spans a period of 15 years with comprehensive reviews every five years,” Liabunya said.
Four focus areas that have been branded as key in the blueprint which includes customers, stakeholders, corporate image, revenue generation and financial stewardship.
Egenco, the main generator of electricity in the country, came into being after unbundling of Escom and is mandated to generate and sell power predominantly to the Single Buyer.