Industry anticipates improved productivity
Industry captains under the Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) say they anticipate enhanced productivity, especially in the manufacturing sector, following the improved electricity supply situation.
In the past week, Electricity Generation Company (Egenco) resumed electricity generation at its Kapichira hydro power station after 14 months, adding 97.2 megawatts to the national grid.
The development is expected to spur economic and trade activities in the country.
In an interview MCCCI Chief Executive Officer Chancellor Kafelapanjira rated the situation as a relief to the industry sector.
“The restoration of lost power at Kapichira has certainly brought smiles as industry now has the latitude to increase production because of highly reduced or entirely eliminated blackouts.
“Besides, industry was being punished by paying maximum demand charges even when power was not available and that bankrupted a lot of industries, including those in the hospitality and manufacturing sectors, and irrigation agriculture,” Kafelapanjira.
He added that the use of alternative energy sources, especially fossil fuel, is costly as it pushes up the cost of production.
“The use of fuel also increased the import quantities of the fuel by the fuel industry and added to the foreign exchange demands, thus adding to the already existing foreign exchange challenges the country has been facing.
“It is our expectation that demand for fuel will now ease, and the foreign exchange requirement for importing the fuel will go down, thus freeing foreign exchange for other equally critical national needs,” he said.
MCCCI President Lekani Katandula said industry players are upbeat that the remaining 32 megawatts at Kapichiri will be re-added to the grid soon.