By Memory Chatonda – Mana
President Lazarus Chakwera has called upon serious companies to invest in the energy sector to meet the current electricity demand in the country.
Chakwera made the call on Tuesday when he presided over the commissioning of the 19MW Tedzani IV Hydropower Plant in Neno.
He said for so long, Malawi has been experiencing persistent power outages, a situation that affected various sectors of economy such as education, mining and health.
“If we cannot get things right, agriculture sector will suffer because there is no electricity to run machines for industrialisation. In hospitals, people will continue to lose lives because there is no electricity and the component of Information, Communication and Technology will be rendered useless in the education sector because there is no electricity. Overall, if we cannot get things right, blackouts will even interfere with our ambitious plans in the Malawi Vision 2063,” said Chakwera.
The President said government has lined up a number of projects, including the construction of more power plants and also diversify other sources of energy to solar, wind and coal to add 1,000MW to national electricity grid in the next four years.
He called on local and foreign companies to invest more in energy sector to increase the current generation capacity.
“Presently, let me commend Japanese government for supporting the country in the construction of Tedzani IV project and I therefore call for other serious companies to emulate the example,” Chakwera said.
Chairperson for Energy Generation Company Limited, Zangazanga Chikhosi, thanked the President for commissioning the power plant saying this marks the beginning of the new era in power generation.
He said EGENCO plans to triple the current electricity generation capacity of 367.4 megawatts within the next 12 years.
Chikhosi said apart from EGENCO implementing power plants projects in different places, the company was taking a review of 300 MW Coal Fired Power Plant at Kammwamba to ensure that power generation and supply in the country is sufficient and reliable.
Japanese Ambassador to Malawi, Satoshi Iwakiri said his government would continue supporting Malawi in investments and other infrastructural development as one way of strengthening the bilateral ties between the two countries.
He described the commissioning of 19MW plant Tedzani IV as a catalyst of helping the country to realise some of the goals in energy sector as stipulated in Malawi Vision 2063.
On March 18, 2015, the Japanese government through Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Malawi government signed a grant agreement for the expansion of Tedzani Hydro Electricity Power Station aimed at constructing Tedzani IV power station to improve electricity generation capacity.
Almost K 45 billion has been injected into Tedzani VI project.