By Memory Kutengule:
President Peter Mutharika has said his administration is ready to accommodate serious investors in the energy sector to meet existing electricity demand.
Mutharika made the remarks Wednesday during the official handover and commissioning of upgraded Nkula A Hydropower Plant in Neno District.
He said, for over 50 years, Malawi has not invested seriously in the energy sector to increase generation capacity and meet demand for electricity.
Mutharika commended the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) under the Malawi Compact for upgrading Nkula A Hydropower station which has added 36 megawatts to the country’s power grid.
“Today, with this compact, we have improved power generation capacity and increased transmission of electricity to people and their businesses,” he said.Advertisement
Mutharika said the government has taken aggressive short to medium and long-term power reforms such as solar power generation, gas, wind and coal-fired power plant to increase power generation.
“Besides, we plan to add another 80 megawatts to the national grid by March 2019 and, soon, I will bring [the problem] electricity blackouts to an end for I know that energy is key to economic growth. Electricity empowers Malawians to invest in businesses to generate income,” he said.
United States Ambassador to Malawi, Virginia Palmer, said she was optimistic the successful implementation of the first energy compact of upgrading Nkula A has unlocked Malawi’s economic potential.
Millennium Challenge Account Vice President, Jeanne Hauch, said MCA is committed to developing Malawi in the energy sector for the country’s economic growth.
“When we came, we asked ourselves what was holding back the economic growth of Malawi. We noted that Malawi has no access to reliable electricity. That is why we thought of seriously investing in energy, thus refurbishment of Nkula A,” Hauch said.
In 2013, MCA commissioned a five-year project under MCA Energy Compact to upgrade Nkula A with $350.7 million.— MANA
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