Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) says Malawians should expect an end to power problems following the partial handover of Millennium Challenge Account (MCA-Malawi) Nkhoma Power Substation.
In September 2013, MCA embarked on a $350.7 million project to reduce the cost of doing business, expand access to electricity and increase value-added production in Malawi.
Briefing journalists on Saturday at Nkhoma, Escom senior control engineer at the National Control Centre Augustine Nyirenda said the substation will enable the company to transport more power at any given time and allow more players in the energy generating sector to use the station, which will benefit a lot of Malawians.
On Saturday, MCA allowed Escom to connect one of its existing lines to the station as one way of creating more space for transporting power and improving quality of supply.
“What is happening here is that we are trying to connect the new Nkhoma Power Substation to the existing Escom system. What we are having here is that we had two lines from Golomoti to Lilongwe B at Kanengo having 132 000 volts transmission. This will enable us to transport more power at any given time; it will allow us have more players, [thereby] making it easier to transmit,” he said.
This is the first phase of switching on the 132 000 volts, which will be followed by another switching on of a 400 000 volts line from Phombeya to Nkhoma Power Substation.
MCA communications manager Zilani Khonje told journalists that the partial handover signifies that they are almost done with the compact, which will come to an end on September 20.
“That signifies that we are going towards the end of the compact, by 20 September we will be closing the compact. By allowing Escom to use the substation, it means we have partially handed over the station for Escom to start using it. I can say that [the project is] over 90 percent complete,” she said.
This project includes the Lilongwe 66kV power ring to Lilongwe.
Apart from boosting the energy sector, the project will increase potential for private sector participation and investment in power generation and distribution. n