Millennium Challenge Account-Malawi (MCA-M), the local entity implementing the United States of America government-funded $350.7million energy compact, has signed a $13.5 million (about K7.56 billion) contract with Chint Electric International Company of China to construct new power substations and upgrade existing ones.
The construction and upgrading works are part of the infrastructure development component of the energy compact. The four substations to be constructed are Chintcheche in Nkhata Bay, Luwinga in Mzuzu, New Bwengu in Mzimba North and Bunda Turn-off in Lilongwe.
Speaking during the signing ceremony, MCA-M chief executive officer Susan Banda said construction of the new substations will improve the quality of power transmission and distribution.
She said: “We are hoping that once the works are completed, we will have a reliable power distribution network, especially in the Northern Region where Chint will do most of its works.”
Banda said the compact has strict deadlines and hopes that Chint will stick to agreed timelines for the works to be carried out within stipulated times.
Chint sales director Tina Wu pledged to deliver quality work, observing that her company is no stranger in the implementation of projects of such magnitude.
She said her firm has carried out similar works in other countries such as Zambia, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Uganda and Pakistan.
Eight companies submitted bids out of which Chint Electric, a firm established 11 years ago in Shanghai, China, was successful. The firm is expected to mobilise and be on project site by November 24 2015 while actual construction works are scheduled to start in March 2016.
MCA-Malawi is also expected to sign more contracts with other firms for the Nkula Hydro Power Station, construction of a 400kV and a 132kV lines, substations at Phombeya in Balaka and Nkhoma in Lilongwe.