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Power reforms progressing well’

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Government says the power sector reform programme is progressing well.

Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining Spokesperson, Ayam Maeresa, told Business Times on the sidelines of power sector communication strategy review in Mangochi that steady progress has been registered in the programme.

The reforms—in the sector—are part of the wider Public Service

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Reforms that were launched by President Peter Mutharika in February 2015.

“Since the Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining—as an implementing agency—has achieved the following: The review and subsequent passing of the Electricity Act in June (2016), which led to the liberalisation of the electricity industry, opening up the sector for entry into the market by Independent Power Producers (IPPs).

“So far, about 38 IPPs have expressed interest to invest in power generation and signed Memorandum of Understandings (MOUs) with the government,” said Maeresa.

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He added that the Act provided for the unbundling of the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) into two companies, one for generation of electricity and the other for transmission and distribution.

“Following the passing of the Act, Escom was unbundled on December 31 2016 and a new company called Electricity Generation Company (Egenco Malawi) Limited was born.

“It is expected that the unbundling of Escom will, among others, bring efficiency and effectiveness in supply of electricity to both bulk and individual customers in addition to promoting private sector participation in the power sector,” Maeresa said.

Going forward, Maeresa said plans are underway to establish a Single Buyer, and Systems and Market Operator in the remnant Escom.

He said the single buyer will be buying power from the IPPs, including Egenco, while the System Market Operator will ensure that the transmission system is well managed by using an agreed grid code.

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