New India Electricals Limited plans to invest about $15 million (K10.6 billion) by setting up a manufacturing plant in the country within the next four months, the firm’s official has said.
Through the investment, the industrial electrical manufacturer is also expected to create jobs and help to scale up efforts in the provision of electrical industrial machinery.
As part of ongoing reforms in the energy sector, government has opened up the sector to break the monopoly of Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) which has dominated the power sector for decades.
Thus far, government has signed memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with about 30 Independent Power Producers (IPPs) to boost power supply from the current 351 megawatts (MW) to around 2 000MW to meet the demand of both domestic and industrial users.
The firm’s chief executive officer Hemanshu Desai said in an interview on Monday they plan to invest in Malawi because of the potential in energy sector.
He said: “We have chosen Malawi mainly because of the potential the country has in the sector.
“We plan to set up a complete electrical commissioning team, servicing team as well as all other types of services required as an industrial electrical firm.”
He said once plans for a solar power take off are realised, the investment would be even much bigger.
On the benefits that Malawi will accrue from the investment, Desai said the company brings with it expertise which covers the entire end-to-end electrical and power solutions for steel, sugar, cement, paper, power generation, power transmission and distribution.
“Our equipment is manufactured under stringent quality control with clear focus on performance and longevity, but our coming to Malawi will mean that Malawian customers will enjoy reduced prices, not those offered on European markets nor on South African markets, but those that we offer in India which are affordable.
“These materials will also ensure that Malawi has a stable network because they are genuine products with excellent quality,” he said.
Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) chief operations officer Chimwemwe Luhanga has welcomed the planned investment, saying it will provide Malawian companies with alternative sources of industrial electrical supplies at competitive prices.
Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism spokesperson Wiskes Nkombezi said the entry of the firm on the Malawi market would enable Malawian industries to access quality products of international standards at competitive prices while at the same time saving the country foreign exchange and create job opportunities.
At the opening of 28th Malawi International Trade Fair (Mitf) last week, President Peter Mutharika said the energy sector has been a constraint to fulfilling Malawi’s economic potential. n