Principal Secretary in Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining, Patrick Mathanda, opened the symposium that has drawn over 14 countries within Africa and beyond, saying that over 600 million people living in Africa don’t have access to electricity and as such it is quite imperative to explore key issues affecting generation of electricity from hydro sources and find sustainable solutions to the same.
“Electricity is key in advancement of health care, education, value addition to agricultural produce and many other socio-economic activities. In Malawi approximately 12 percent of the population has access to electricity. Though climate change is having an effect on electricity generation but we can find workable solutions to enhance electricity generation and the theme of this conference just underscores that,” said Mathanda.
On his part Chief Executive Officer for Egenco, William Liabunya, said the company has embarked on several projects to increase electricity generation capacity such as modernization of Tedzani 3 and Tedzani 4 hydro power stations. Liabunya further said the symposium gives Egenco an advantage of knowing where to source expertise.
He said: “This conference will help us to interact with people from various companies and with various experiences, now with exchange of information in this conference we will learn what others have experienced and that will give us a leverage to improve on our operations.
“ As Egenco we are engaged in various projects to modernise old plants and install even new machinery to enhance generation of electricity. We are optimistic that these projects will bear fruit as we move on.”
Other speakers during the conference pointed out the importance of environmental protection as this is the foundation for hydro power generation.
In summer when level of water in Shire River goes down, the country experiences power outages.However Egenco says it has other backup plans such as running diesel generators to make up for the power deficit.
This year’s symposium is being held under the theme, “Quality Power for Sustainable Development in Africa.”