By Senior Business Editor
The Malawi-Mozambique Interconnector Project has been officially launched for construction. Malawi’s President Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, who is currently in Mozambique, and Mozambican President Phillipe Nyusi jointly launched the project in Tete, Mozambique.
The launching ceremony comes almost five months after Nyusi launched an interconnection transmission facility in Malawi last November when he made a State Visit to the country.
Speaking at the launch function President Chakwera hailed the project as historic for the two countries as they jointly embark on a new partnership for prosperity.
Chakwera stressed on the importance of the joint project which he said will help to ease the increasing demand of electricity in Malawi. He further highlighted that the project will create an opportunity for Malawi to export power into the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP).
The president hinted that the Malawi Government through ESCOM may get an extra 60 megawatts from Mozambique giving it a total of 110 Megawatts from the interconnector line.
‘’I should mention that I am ably informed that my Government through ESCOM has re-engaged EDM (the Mozambican electricity company- Electricidade de Moçambique) for possible power supply’’ he said.
The Malawi leader announced that the construction phase of the project will create over 1,000 jobs both to Malawians and Mozambicans. The president expressed confidence that people from two countries will give their full support to the project.
President Chakwera explained that his government has placed the energy sector as one of the key enablers for social and economic development that will feed onto the 2063 vision reality. He added that the just commissioned project has come at the right time as his government strives to increase access to electricity and improve the reliability of supply in Malawi in line with the Tonse Alliance-led administration.
‘’You know that power is a critical input for any economic activity. Its sufficiency is prerequisite for speeding economic growth and improving the living standards of all our citizens. Successful and timely conclusion of this project will contribute towards realising this vision’’ he said.
The Malawi-Mozambique Interconnection project is being funded by the World Bank, the European Union and the Kfw. Once this joint project is completed it is expected to close the gap between the supply and demand in Malawi that has greatly affected the manufacturing and different service delivery in the country.