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Government secures power restoration funds

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Ministry of Finance has secured a $60 million funding commitment from the World Bank which will be used for the restoration of power into the national grid by different players in the power sector.

Minister of Finance Sosten Gwengwe confirmed the development in an interview on Tuesday, adding that there are other dollar resource funding commitments which the bank has made.

One of the players in the energy sector, the Electricity Generation Company (Egenco), also confirmed the development in a separate interview on Tuesday.

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Egenco spokesperson Moses Gwaza said the firm has been in discussions with the Bretton Woods institution and they have reached a solution that it will provide the resources for the restoration of Kapichira Power Station.

Gwaza added that part of the money will be a grant while part of it will be a loan.

“It has to be further noted that the money is for the whole emergency power restoration project, meaning that part of it is going to other State institutions within the energy sector to support their restoration as well,” Gwaza said.

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Tropical Storm Ana, which hit the country early this year, caused floods which destroyed the power plant, thereby removing 130 megawatts of installed capacity from the country’s electricity generation system.

Government indicated that Egenco needs approximately K15 billion for the complete restoration of the power plant.

Apart from destroying Egenco infrastructure, the storm also destroyed Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) infrastructure such as power cables and transformers, which also need repairing.

Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) President Lekani Katandula said electricity blackouts are one of the hitches to the growth of the economy.

Katandaula added that they are happy to see efforts being taken by government to restore power because it will help the industry lower the cost of production and increase productivity.

“We are happy with such initiatives from government; we just hope that the renovations will be executed with speed and see their completion by the end of this year for the benefit of both micro and macro economy,” he said.

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