By Patrick Ndawala:
President Lazarous Chakwera says government has secured a 60 Million USD soft loan from World Bank for the restoration of Kapichira hydro power plant which was damaged by cyclones in the just ended rainy season.
He said the rehabilitation of the Kapichira power plant will significantly reduce load shedding in the next six months.
The President said this on Monday when he inaugurated Golomoti Solar Power Plant project in Dedza district which a Canadian Independent power producer JCM Power and InfraCo Africa has installed to add 20 power megawatts to the national grid.
“The rehabilitation of Kapichira Hydro Power plant is critical because it will help us to stay focus of reaching our target of having 1000 megawatts supplying to the national grid within the next 3 years,” he said.
He said the restoration of Kapichira aligns to the needs to prioritise energy production as an enablers for the industrialisation as enshrine in the Malawi 2063 vision.
The president also ordered minister of energy to work out on all barriers that are hindering Independent Power Producers (IPP) from supplying electricity in the country.
“One thing that your office must resolve and settling differences between them. Reports of Independent power producers not being assisted in their quest to explore power agreement by with government leaves a lot to be desired.
This matter were already settled by law and the ministry must identify who in these institutions is causing roadblocks in the implementation of the settled policy. I therefore trust you and give you a report by end of this month the status of each IPP that has expressed interest in helping us,” he explained.
He said he decommissioned the wasteful power generators that were purchased under the previous government because Malawian deserves better and sustainable power.
He commended JCM for being innovative in the implementation of the project saying it has not only provided jobs to about 500 people but contributes to his government goal of having 1000 megawatts power to the grid by 2025.
He said government is very much geared to create a conductive environment for private sector to invest in the energy sector.
He therefore revealed that in the coming two weeks government through Presidential Delivery Units (PDU) will start facilitating a private sector investment lab.
He said the country need to remove and expedient the level of investment in the energy and other sectors.
CEO for JCM Power said Golomoti solar power plant project is the first of its kind in Malawi and the largest in the SADC region.
He said JCM is committed to partner with stakeholders in the energy sector such as including ESCOM to provide clean solar energy in Malawi.
“JCM is diligently implementing solar powered projects in both Salima and Golomoti to help the country access sustainable and environmentally power supply,” he said.
Later, president Chakwera held a development rally at Msuzi Community ground in the area on traditional authority Kachindamoto in the district.