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MCC expects more from new power substations

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Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) has said it expects Malawians to reap more from the construction of new power substation at Nkhoma in Lilongwe.

MCC Chief Executive Officer Dana Hyde made the remarks in Lilongwe on Monday during a groundbreaking ceremony of the substation, which is being constructed under MCC’s US$350 million compact.

“This line will move large quantities of electricity from where it is generated in Southern Malawi to Central Malawi and eventually to northern Malawi. Along its path, the line will empower communities and unlock economic growth,” Hyde said.

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She said the line and other elements of the Compact’s infrastructure project will increase the capacity of Malawi’s grid by some 500 megawatts, enough to more than double the amount of electricity that Malawi produces.

Hyde added that the new substations being constructed under the compact will create a potential for Malawi to connect to power networks in Mozambique and Zambia, thereby fulfilling the dream of regional integration.

“That means more reliable supply of power for Malawians, and it paves way for a day when Malawi can even export power to its neighbours. And finally, this line will build a foundation and improvement of Malawi’s power supply. Escom will be able to deliver better service, and independent power producers will use this line to transmit new electricity to farms, to businesses and to homes,” Hyde said.

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The 400 kV overhead power line will take off from Phombeya in Balaka to the Nkhoma substation where it will land and then downrated to 132kV and transmitted to Bunda Turn-off substation.

Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining, Bright Msaka, thanked the US government for the support.

“I thank President Barak Obama, the people and the US Government for this exceedingly generous donation to Malawi. We kindly request you to heartily convey these sentiments to your government upon your return….in 2007 Malawi qualified for MCA Compact. We decided that the energy sector was the biggest constraints for our development. We were right then and we are now,” Msaka said.

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