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Millennium Challenge Account optimistic with Malawi Compact deadline

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Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) Malawi has expressed optimism that the $350 million (approximately K257 billion) Malawi Compact will be completed within the stipulated deadline of September 2018.

MCA Communications and Outreach Director, Zilani Khonje, said on Saturday, that despite the project meeting compensation challenges in other areas, the implementation of the project is progressing smoothly.

Khonje spoke after touring rehabilitation and upgrading works at Bunda Turn-Off substation in Lilongwe. She said 49 percent of the committed funds to the project, which involves infrastructure development, power sector reform and environment and social performance, has been committed.

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“We are making quite some progress and we are optimistic that, come the deadline, most of these would have been completed,” she said

The substation is undergoing rehabilitation and upgrading to meet increasing demand for electricity among residents of Lilongwe City.

On Saturday, the contractor, Chint Electric Co, and Escom engineers were re-positioning the existing transformer and associated switch gear and re-allocating it outside the existing sub-station on temporary basis to pave way for the contractor to effectively rehabilitate and upgrade the substation.

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Substation Engineer and Site Manager, Nicholas Bisika, said the work would not affect transmission to the surrounding areas.

“The temporary transformer will be there just for three months. Three 66KV lines will be installed, so we are clearing the area for the contractor to do their installations. We are just shifting the transformer to a new position. That will not have any effect in terms of transmission,” Bisika said.

Deputy Project Manager, Ding Weibo, said the project is expected to be completed by December 2017.

The compact is supporting the country to increase capacity and stability of the national electricity grid and sustainability of hydro power generation

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