Minister of Natural Resources Energy and Mining has urged the Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) to be proactive and voice out its concerns when any player in the sector is performing below expectations.
In an interview with Business News on Tuesday, Msaka said Mera’s silence whenever other players are under performing remains a puzzle.
“I am not saying that Mera has been found wanting, but it must play its rightful and legal mandate to ensure that this remains the case. I would expect that whenever any player in the energy sector is performing below expectations, Mera’s voice must be the first to be heard, even before the minister speaks out, and even before citizens begin to complain. Mera’s silence in such situations remains a puzzle.”
Msaka added: “Mera must help make things happen in order that the energy sector in Malawi can grow in an orderly manner. A regulator must not, in the process of regulating, unknowingly assume the role of a stumbling block,” said Msaka.
With the coming in of the Independent Power Producers (IPPs), Msaka said it was imperative for Mera to ensure speedy signing of power purchase agreements so that the country has enough energy in the shortest possible period of time.”
Mera board chairperson, Joseph Bvumbwe, said his institution will ensure that the playing field is levelled so that no investor in the energy sector is frustrated.
“We are committed and we will never stand in the way of any investor because energy is an integral sector in the development of any country. Since our role is to regulate, we are hopeful that with the coming in of the IPPs the country will have adequate energy,” said Bvumbwe.
Government has so far signed 38 memoranda of understanding with IPPs out of which 17 have been shortlisted to produce power. n