At a time Electricity Generation Company (Egenco) is battling to find a lasting solution to energy woes, government is yet to secure investors for its hydro-electricity projects.
The projects include the Lower Songwe Dam hydro power plant under the Songwe River Basin, Kholombidzo hydro power plant, Lower Fufu hydro power plant and Mpatamanga hydro power plant with a total capacity of 930 megawatts (MW) and an initial investment of $1.6 billion (about K1.2 trillion) as outlined in the 2016 Malawi Investment Compendium.
Government had already done a feasibility study on the projects and some detailed designing is underway for some of the projects.
In a written response, Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining spokesperson Saidi Banda said while government is yet to secure investments, the response from investors has been positive.
He said: “Various assessments of the grid and the necessary infrastructure such as sub-station and metering systems have been done to determine how much additional power the transmission infrastructure can accommodate.
“It was determined that more than 1 000MW can be accommodated to the grid for stable energy sources while for unstable energy sources, 70MW can be added.”
Banda said they have a number of expressions of interests which will make it easy for government to refer to when making invitations for proposals.
He said that in the face of declining water levels in Lake Malawi and its outlet, government has diversified river sources for power generation such as Fufu and Songwe in the Northern Region.
In a separate interview, former chief executive officer of Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) Kandi Padambo said there is need to improve management of water sources if the projects are to be a success.
“The future for hydro power generation is there. Of course, as a country, we also have to look at the whole menu of power sources available to us and weigh our options,” he said. n