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Escom unbundling to end power cuts

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Government is optimistic that the process of unbundling the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) will reduce cases of power cuts as the process is expected to improve Malawi’s generation capacity.

Government is unbundling Escom with technical and financial support from a US$350 million Millenium Challenge Account (MCA) Malawi compact which will see the power utility company split into two companies, one responsible for power generation and the other distribution.

Escom currently generates 351 megawatts against a demand of over 2,000 megawatts and Minister of Energy Bright Msaka says the unbundling of Escom will open up the power market thereby giving Malawi access to alternative energy sources.

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“All the Independent Power Producers (IPPs) once they produce their power, whether hydro, solar or wind, they will sell that power to the generation company which will still be a parastatal, while the other company will be responsible for distribution of that power to various areas,” he said.

Msaka further said already, the government has signed over 20 memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with various IPPs. He said it is the responsibility of the government will be to make sure that the IPPs provide enough power to meet the current demand.

“Electricity is a catalyst to development and we would like to surpass the country’s current demand and that of neighbouring countries,” he said.

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More than 27 IPPs have committed to work with government in developing Malawi’s energy sector.

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