Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining Aggrey Massi says Malawi is expected to be an operating member of the Southern Africa Power Pool (Sapp) by 2020.
Currently, Malawi, Tanzania and Angola are non-operating members of Sapp—a cooperation of the national electricity companies in Southern Africa under the auspices of Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc).
Once Malawi becomes an operating member, it will be able to buy and sell power to other countries within the Sadc region.
In an interview in Lilongwe on the sidelines of 43rd Sapp executive committee meeting on Friday, Masi said Malawi has taken long to be an operating member of Sapp due to several challenges.
“Malawi is making huge strides to connect with Mozambique by 2020. With the help of the Millennium Challenge Account Malawi (MCA-M), we will be able to upgrade our transmission system and enable more Malawians access electricity.
“By connecting with Mozambique, this will mean that we will be fully connected to the rest of the Sadc countries,” said Masi.
Under the $350.7 million (K261 billion) energy compact funded by United States’ Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), MCA-M is modernisation distribution and transmission networks and upgrading Nkula A.
However, Masi said that though there is notable progress in implementing generation projects, the same cannot be said for transmission projects, which are critical to evacuating power from generation sources to various load centres within the region and also facilitate the wheeling of power among member States.
Sapp has prioritised the interconnection of Angola, Malawi and Tanzania, according to chairperson of Sapp executive committee Josh Chifamba, who is also chief executive officer of Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa).
He said Sapp values efforts that Malawi and Mozambique are putting in place to have the interconnector in place.
“This will enable Malawi to participate fully and benefit from regional integration,” he said.
Last year, $76 million (K58 billion) was exchanged on the Sapp competitive market.
Sapp was created in August 1995 at the Sadc summit in Kempton Park, South Africa, when member governments signed an inter-governmental memorandum of understanding for the formation of an electricity power pool. Court reserves ruling on BWB fraud suspect’s bail