Ministry of Energy says seven independent power producers (IPPs) who were yet to show progress two years after signing their contracts with government are expected to roll out their projects within the year.
The ministry’s spokesperson Saidi Banda said in an interview on Wednesday that the renewed commitment follows a warning by Minister of Energy Newton Kambala last year to act or risk their licences being revoked.
He said: “To that effect, all of them renewed their interests to implement the projects and they assured the minister that they will implement the projects within 2021.
“We know with the new wave of Covid-19, they will be impacted, but most of them are currently looking for finances for the projects.”
In October last year, Kambala said his ministry intends to audit the progress of IPPs and that those who are not serious will be replaced.
The stance by the minister followed revelations from the Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority that out of 10 IPPs that were approved to generate and sell power to Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom), only two are operating while another IPP, JCM Matswani Solar Corp Limited (Golomoti), which is expected to produce 60 megawatts (MW) solar power had shown progress.
Banda said government expects JCM’s first injection of power by mid-February while all 60MW will be online by April.
In a separate interview, former Escom chief executive officer Kandi Padambo said the importance of close follow-up and monitoring cannot be over-emphasised as the country is in dire need of power.
Currently, Electricity Generation Company produces about 350MW of power.