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Two years for K7.6 billion electricity project

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Construction of a new electricity substation in the Northern Region is expected to be completed by 2018.

Within the project, expected to cost US$13.5 million (about K7.56 billion), is the rehabilitation of three existing ones.

The Chinese contractor hired by Millennium Challenge Account Malawi (MCA-Malawi), has said they will make sure the project is finished within the agreed period.

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The contractor, Chint Electric international Company Limited, made the pledge after sealing a deal with MCA-Malawi, the local entity implementing United States of America, US$350.7 million energy compact

“We shall finish there within 24 months. We will have good quality work,” said Tina Wu, the company’s Sales Director.

Her company is expected to be on the project site by December this year but actual construction is expected to start in March 2016.

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The new substation will be constructed at Bwengu in Mzimba. The construction of the 132kv line will start on March 30, 2016.

The substations to be upgraded are Chintheche in Nkhata Bay, Luwinga in Mzuzu and Bunda Turn-off in Lilongwe.

According to Wu, this is the first project in Malawi but they have worked in Africa on similar projects, including Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

MCA-Malawi Chief Executive Officer, Susan Banda, said once the projects are completed, she expects improved power supply.

“One of the issues we have is access to reliable quality power. Bringing this 132-kV system will help to enhance reliable supply to the North,” she said.

She added: “We should see less load-shedding happening, more reliable power, which will also lead to more industries, industries productive up in the north, and people being able to become entrepreneurs,” Banda said.

In the upgrading project, Chintheche substation will be upgraded from the current 66 kV to 132 kV and Luwinga from 33 Kv to 132 Kv. Bunda substations will be upgraded with a new 132 kV line from Nkhoma.

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