The newly-formed Electricity Generation Company (Malawi) Limited (Egenco) has not rolled out its operations despite government announcing last week that the firm became operational on January 1, it has been established.
A visit yesterday to Chayamba Building in Blantyre where the new company is said to be housed indicated no signs of operations.
Most of the rooms in the building are occupied while only a few are vacant, but none of the vacant few indicated they may be occupied.
This is contrary to a published statement last week signed by Principal Secretary for Natural Resources, Energy and Mining which indicated that Egenco started its operations on January 1 as a separate and independent company following appointment of the board of directors and an executive management team.
Reads the statement in part: “Both Escom and Egenco are working on the schedule of arrangement to focus on, among others, the trading of electricity between the two companies. Further, Egenco is from January 1 operating from its own office premises with the head office situated in Blantyre.”
Escom public relations manager Kitty Chingota when asked about Egenco’s operations declined to comment and referred the issue to the Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining.
Deputy director in the Department of Energy Affairs Joseph Kalowekamo told Business News last week that Escom board had until December end to have everything in place so that come January 1 Egenco is operational.
He said: “We have identified Chayamba Building to house the new company and we are currently furnishing it. Posts such as accountants can be shared, but the big positions such as chief executive will be appointed not later than January 31.”
Speaking earlier, Escom Workers Union secretary general Joseph Kamwendo said some staff had received their letters
to relocate to the new company, but expressed no knowledge of where they had gone to.
The Escom unbundling process is part of the power sector reform project, a component of the $350.7 million (about K242 billion) United States of America (USA) government-funded Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) energy compact that seeks to improve generation and distribution infrastructure.
This is also part of the reform programme in the electricity supply industry through power market restructuring (PMR) with the aim of increasing efficiency in power generation and creating an enabling environment for independent power producers to invest in power generation.
The restructured Escom Limited has adopted, implemented and operationalised the new organisational structure for Escom that incorporates the single buyer (SB) and system and market operator (SMO) functions, according to government.
The remaining Escom will continue to operate from its present premises in Umoyo House. n