Experts in the energy sector are calling for the diversification of electricity generation in the country to end the persistent blackouts that are haunting the country.
Coordinator for the Malawi Chamber of Mines and Energy, who is also former minister of energy, Grain Malunga, said thermal power stations have the potential to generate reliable and sustainable energy in the country if attention is given to coal, gas and oil mining.
“We encourage the country to exploit gas, oil and coal industry for power generation. We have some coal deposits in some districts in the North that can be used to generate thermal electricity and bring security in the energy sector” Malunga said.
He further said Malawi can make use of coal from Moartize in Mozambic to generate electricity and save the country from the electricity crisis.
“Most of the companies in Mozambic are interested in cooking coal which is high quality coal for the industries. We can make use of the low quality coal that we can import, at low cost, and use it for electricity generation. That’s why the Kammwamba Coal Project near Zalewa is very instrumental for Malawi to benefit from cheap coal and use it for energy generation,” he said.
In a separate interview, Minister of Energy, Bright Msaka, reiterated the problem of electricity blackouts is a result of erratic rains experienced this year.
He, however, said that government has devised ways to avoid recurrence of the problem by diversifying the energy generation sector.
“We need to accept that the erratic rains have affected the flow of Shire River such that water level is low, thereby affecting production of electricity. The unbundling of Escom has opened up to many Independent Power Producers (IPPs) to show interest in electricity production. We have given a nod to them to produce 70 megawatts of electricity,” Msaka said.
He acknowledged the paralysis that the persistent power outage is causing in the country and said in the short term, government is purchasing emergency generators to serve the country up to December and March next year.
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