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Malawi could tap 120mw from Mozambique

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By Wezzie Gausi

Malawi could tap 120 megawatts (mw) from Mozambique through the Malawi-Mozambique interconnector Project, up from the initial 70mw, the Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) has disclosed.

Mera Chief Executive Officer Henry Kachaje disclosed this when he appeared before members of the Public Accounts Committee (Pac) of Parliament on Tuesday.

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Kachaje said the governments of Malawi and Mozambique are still negotiating to finalise agreements on the electricity interconnector initiative.

He said officials from the two countries had a meeting in December 2022, at which they gauged progress of the project.

“We are still negotiating on how best we can roll out this project. As I am speaking, we also have an offer from South Africa to share electricity with us.

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“The negotiations will be concluded by the first or second half of this year and we are certain that the project will be up and running soon,” Kachaje said.

Pac Chairperson Mark Botoman bemoaned delays that have marred the interconnector project.

“We feel that there is a long way to go in the interconnector project. Looking at the situation on the ground, we feel like there is more that needs to be done if the project has to materialise.

“We have heard about this project for some time now but nothing tangible is being done. To us, as a committee, these are just promises. We believe that this is a good project, as the country faces persistent blackouts, but the negotiations have to be done with the urgency they deserve,” Botoman said.

Secretary for Energy Alfonso Chikuni said the project deadline of December 2023 will be maintained.

He, however, said the Mozambican side has two issues to sort out, such that the issues may cause project delays for two months.

“We have planned to work together to resolve the issues and still maintain the December 2023 deadline. The Mozambican part is supposed to redesign pylons on a certain section that normally faces heavy winds,” Chikuni said.

Meanwhile, Parliamentary Committee on Natural Resources and Climate Change Chairperson Werani Chilenga has urged the two governments to act with speed on the projects.

“After all, Parliament approved funds, which are lying idle, for implementation of the Access Project, in which the issue of Mozambique and Malawi electricity connection was included,” he said.

In April 2022, President Lazarus Chakwera travelled to Mozambique, where he presided over the launch of the Mozambique-Malawi Power Interconnector Project in Tete.

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