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Government turns to new independent power producers

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The government says it has withdrawn offers it made to independent power producers (IPP) who failed to roll out their operations as of October 30 2022.

Minister of Energy Ibrahim Matola, in an interview, said the government cannot continue to wait for companies who have shown little capacity to deliver on the projects after signing agreements in 2017.

Matola was speaking on the side-lines of the first ever Renewable Energy Conference in Mangochi organised by the Renewable Energy Industries Association of Malawi (Reiama).

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“We have written to the concerned IPPs who have failed to meet the rolling out deadline.

“If we continue to keep them, it means we will not be able to meet the target of increasing power with 1,000 megawatts as indicated by the president,” he said.

Matola said the majority of the IPPs were tasked to generate power using other sources apart from water.

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He then challenged Reiama members to work with Power Market Limited in bringing solutions to the energy sector.

Matola claimed that there is sabotage in the energy sector which needs to be dealt with.

“Of late, we have seen increasing cases of vandalism of Escom properties. Some people have gone even further to vandalise transmission towers which, on our side, we don’t take as ordinary vandalism. This is economic sabotage which needs to be addressed,” he said.

Reiama President Sosten Chigalu said there is a need for experts in the energy sector to work towards bringing innovation which can help solve the energy challenges.

“We have to identify our real problems and agree on how to deal with them. We cannot solve the energy challenges with quick solutions, but long lasting solutions that come with innovations,” he said.

Chigalu said, for a long time, Malawi’s investment in clean energy has been minimal, which, he said, has negatively contributed to the prevailing challenges.

“So if we increase our investment in the renewable energy Sector, we can, for sure, say that we will be able to have reliable energy which can attract huge investment,” he said.

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