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Escom counts on interconnector

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John Kapito

The Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) has said the Mozambique-Malawi interconnection project will likely help in the lowering of electricity tariffs once completed.

Escom Board Chairperson Fredrick Changaya said this in an interview Tuesday in Balaka district.

While he could not project the precise level of impact, Changaya said the project was likely to increase access to electricity.

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“This project will positively impact the pricing of electricity in the country once it is completed, which may make the electricity tariffs to go down,” he said.

According to the Escom website, the power distributor charges K56 per kilowatt per hour for domestic, prepaid, single phase supply below 50 per kilowatt per hour unit charge and charges K79.30 per kilowatt per hour for above 50 per kilowatt per hour unit charge.

It charges K49 per kilowatt per hour for domestic, postpaid, single phase supply on the first 50 kilowatt per hour unit charge and charges K75.30 above 50 kilowatt per hour unit charge.

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Consumers Association of Malawi Executive Director John Kapito expressed joy at the news indicating that consumers have been waiting for such developments.

“In the key performance indicators that were given to Escom by Mera (Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority), there was nothing to say that, once they increase productivity, the tariffs will go down; so, if this is what is coming out, it will be a big relief to consumers,” he said.

The project was officially opened by President Lazarus Chakwera and his Mozambican counterpart Filipe Nyusi.

In his speech, Chakwera said the project gives a boost light to the country’s goal of adding 1,000 megawatts of power to the national grid in the next four years.

“This project aims at establishing a transmission link between Malawi and Mozambique to meet increasing electricity demand in Malawi, enabling initial supply of 50mw of power from Mozambique to Malawi and creating avenues for trade in the SAPP,” he said.

The project will have a 218 kilometres 400 kilovolts high voltage power line from Matambo, Tete Province, in Mozambique through Mwanza border and Neno District to Phombeya Substation in Balaka.

The project is being funded by the European Union, World Bank and Malawi Government to the tune of $127 million.

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