You are here:CategoriesLocal News$1 billion Mpatamanga hydro-power will be 'game changer', to add 350 megawatts to national grid: Kutsaira

$1 billion Mpatamanga hydro-power will be 'game changer', to add 350 megawatts to national grid: Kutsaira

Written by  Geoffrey Chinawa

 The proposed $1 billion (K750 billion) Mpatamanga hydro power plant project on the Shire River will be a “game changer” in the energy generation sector as it will add 350 megawatts to the national grid, Natural Resources, Energy and Mining Minister Bintony Kutsaira said in Blantyre on Friday as he launched the procurement of a strategic sponsor for the proposed project.

Mpatamanaga game changer: Kutsaira (middle) at the launch. Pix by Geoffrey Chinawa, MBC Online. Mpatamanaga game changer: Kutsaira (middle) at the launch. Pix by Geoffrey Chinawa, MBC Online.
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December


Kutsaira said this was a landmark development which will “cushion the ever-growing demand of electricity in the country as access to uninterrupted power supply is a catalyst for sustainable economic growth.”

 

The Minister that in line with the Sustainable Development Goal number 7 that advocates for access to affordable clean energy, the Democratic Progressive Party-DPP led government continues prioritizing the development of the energy sector.

 

Over 95% of Malawi’s electricity -351 megawatts--is generated from hydro with Shire River as the main source of the hydro-electricity. Electricity generation has been reduced by up to 40%--some 200MW, leaving a shortfall of 150 MW due to dwindling water levels from Lake Malawi, whose only outlet is the Shire.


Kutsaira said the implementation of the project is the fulfillment of the vision of the country’s leader Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika who wants all Malawians to have access to power.

 

“Currently the nation is facing power woes but with the coming in of this new power plant, black outs will be a story of the past,” said Kutsaira.

 

Electricity Generation Company of Malawi (EGENCO) is one of the stakeholders of the project and its CEO William Liabunya said the company is geared to ensure that the project materializes.


“This mega project will boost the country’s industry sector as we will have enough power to supply to all. The project will also enable the country to fully utilize the power lines that were installed under the MCA Project,” said Liabunya.

Meanwhile the Public Private Partnership Commission-PPPC has disclosed that a number of companies are expressing interest to partner with government in the project.


The actual construction works of the project are scheduled to commence in 6 months time. The prospective sponsor that government is seeking will contribute 40% to the project. Currently only 11% of the country’s population has access to power.


The launch was also graced by Trade, Industry and Tourism Minister Salim Bagus, Transport and Public Works Ralph Jooma and the deputy minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining Mwangasulwa Mwambande.

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