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Government warns idle power producers

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Newton Kambala

By Wezzie Gausi:

The government has given seven Independent Power Producers (IPPs) this month-end as deadline to start generating power or risk having their licences revoked.

With the government continuing to reform the energy sector, strong investor-interest has developed, with IPPs willing to enter the Malawi energy market.

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However, Minister of Energy Newton Kambala said, out of 10 IPPs, only three are operational.

He said if all the 10 IPPs were operational, about 348 megawatts (mw) of electricity would have been produced, adding to the already 371 hydropower that the country is using.

He said, as the country is expected to produce 2,000mw of electricity by 2030, it is frustrating to see some licenced companies failing to roll out.

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“The ministry is engaging the seven companies that are idle. The government will not entertain lame excuses on their failure to roll out,” Kambala said.

Kambala said, with the expansion of the industries, demand for power has surged.

He has since disclosed that Quantel Company is ready to start producing electricity in the northern part of Malawi.

The company will add 50mw of solar power to the National grid while Mulanje Hydro was expected to add 8.2mw.

Recently, the Ministry of Energy launched a 20 mw of solar power energy at Golomoti in Dedza District.

The project is to be implemented by JCM Power Company, who just finished the 60mw Salima Project and will soon start feeding into the national grid.

Kambala said Egenco diesel power is currently producing 46mw of electricity, which is operational only when the country has problems with hydropower.

“Aggreko, which is one of the Independent Power Producers is producing 78 megawatts, although this company is too costly to the government but the ministry has no choice but to hire them,” he said.

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