As power blackouts continue in Malawi, government says it is looking for quick ways to increase power sources as one way of increasing power generation in the country.
Department of Energy publicist Joseph Kalowekamo said government plans to have in place several alternative sources of electricity by 2017 which includ 6 megawatts from sugar mills and at least 15 megawatts in solar power from prospective investors that the government is in discussion with.
He also said the government expects to have power from two interconnection projects with Mozambique and Zambia.
“It is the expectation of the government that by 2017, the inter-utility agreements between Escom and the respective power utilities of Mozambique and Zambia will have been signed,” said Kalowekamo.
“It is further expected that by 2017, feasibility studies and detailed designs of the interconnectors will have been signed,” said Kalowekamo.
He said Escom expects to produce another 16 megawatts from diesel generators as part of plan for the mitigation of the expected closure of Nkula power stations in 2017 to pave way for rehabilitation of the stations.
He also highlighted that electricity projects take long to implement, with hydropower projects taking at least four to six years to be commissioned.
“This explains why the government is looking for quick solutions to the power problems in the meantime while working on medium to long-term projects,” said Kalowekamo.
He mentioned the coal-fired power plant at Kam’mwamba as well as hydro power stations at Kholombidzo, Mpatamanga and Lower Fufu projects as among medium term projects the government is banking on to increase power generation in the country.