Malawi says the energy plan to be unveiled soon will ensure upgrading of power transmission and distribution systems to reduce energy losses and improve both efficiency and interconnection to diversify supply sources.
Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining Atupele Muluzi said this yesterday when he launched Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) Service Charter in Lilongwe.
He said the energy plan will increase the efficiency and capacity for electricity generation through the construction of new power plants.
“The plan will also ensure that we stay on course to meet maximum demand of 700 megawatts (MW) by 2018 and cater for needs of domestic customers expected to rise by one million in 2030 and this includes extensive roll-out of the Malawi Rural Electrification Programme
(Marep) across the country,” said Muluzi in a speech made available to Business News.
He said the plan will also result in the reformation of power tariffs and address inefficiencies by ensuring 100 percent collection of bill payments, better recovery of costs, maintenance, distribution losses and capital budget execution.
“The energy plan, once launched, intends to ensure that my ministry delivers on its priorities within the context of the plan and delivers them well,” he said.
Commenting on the service charter, Muluzi said public services are not a privilege, but they are a legitimate expectation.
“Escom has developed a Service Charter at a point where its installed capacity is just enough to meet its demand. However, with high urbanisation and growth in the housing and construction sector, Escom needs to embark on its expansion and rehabilitation programme for both transmission and distribution networks to be ahead of the game,” he said.
Muluzi advised Escom staff that the Charter is not an end in itself, but that there is need for a step-change in the way the parastatal does its business.
Escom installed capacity is currently at 351 MW against suppressed demand of 350 MW. Currently, the sole power supplier is implementing a massive load shedding because two machines commissioned at Kapichira II Power Station in December last year have been taken out for repairs.
This means that 30MW is off the power grid.
Escom has since urged the public to use power sparing during the 17-day period of massive load shedding.