Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining Bright Msaka says Malawi as a country “does not have electricity supply at all” and that it is an “embarrassment” for a whole country to produce only 350 megawatts of power.
This come a time the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) has warned customers of frequent and prolonged power load shedding in the next five months due to low flow of water in Lake Malawi which has led to insufficient power generation.
Speaking in Liwonde during the official opening of a media sensitisation workshop on natural resources, energy and mining, Msaka said Malawi produces the least amount of power in the region.
“We do not have power in this country, 351megawatts is embarrassing,” said Msaka.
He said it is for this reason that the government is now allowing independent power producers to enter into the market.
He said as of last week, his ministry had received a commitment of power production of over 1,700 megawatts from various prospective investors in the energy sector.
Msaka said the country needs more power if it has to be successful in the production sector and achieve economic growth.
Msaka said the country has traditionally relied on agriculture for its economic development and that the mining sector remains underdeveloped.
“Malawi has considerable mineral resources that are still unexploited and the government is convinced that these can be developed to support and compliment agriculture and the manufacturing industry,” said Msaka.
He said, however, that for our mineral sector to take off, Malawi needs substantial and reliable power supply.
Msaka said his ministry is working on an “energy mix” where composition of hydro, wind geothermal, thermal, solar and other modes of electricity generation will be put to use in order to meet the rising demand for electricity in the country