By Mary Makhiringa – Mana
President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera and his Mozambican counterpart, President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi on Tuesday launched the Mozambique-Malawi (MOMA) Power Interconnection Project.
The function which was attended by different dignitaries from Malawi and Mozambique as well as members of the Diplomatic Missions took place in Balaka at the Phombeya Malawi Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) substation.’
Speaking after launching the project, President Chakwera said if completed, the project has the ability to create avenues for trade in Malawi.
Said Chakwera: “This project aims at establishing a transmission link between Malawi and Mozambique to meet increasing electricity demand in Malawi, enabling initial supply of 50megawatts of power from Mozambique to Malawi and creating avenues for trade in the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP), with the prospect of more exchanges of trade and power in the future”.
The Malawi leader said with the construction of the Malawi-Mozambique Interconnector, Malawi’s march towards the goal of adding 1000 megawatts to the national grid over the next four years is making steady progress.
“I wish to thank my dear brother, Your Excellency Filipe Jacinto Nyusi, President of the Republic of Mozambique, for joining me in this official launch of the Malawi-Mozambique Interconnection Project.
“Your Excellency will recall that during my visit to Songo Province in Mozambique last year, I was privileged to tour the Cabora Bassa Dam which is the hub of (SAPP),” said Chakwera.
He said it was at that time that they agreed to hold this joint ceremony, launching the construction of the electricity transmission line for Malawi-Mozambique Interconnection.
“I am therefore glad to see this coming to pass as a step in the direction of integrating infrastructure across SADC for sustainable economic development,” Chakwera said.
The Malawi Leader therefore called for speed in the project as he said the Mozambican Government was more than ready as they have already instituted camps in Tete ready to roll out.
“We are the ones in need of support, but the pace at which we are operating is as if we have enough. Let me call for speed, as I am aware that all logistical support has already been given to the necessary institution,” he urged.
President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi urged the Malawi Government to avoid putting party colors to the project saying the project is meant to benefit every Malawian.
“I would like to congratulate President Chakwera for the materialization of the vision which has been there for long. The best thing in projects like these is the willingness between the two sides and later the operationalization of the vision,” he said.
He said he was happy to note that the Government of Malawi has provided $3.5 Million into the project which he said demonstrates Malawi government’s commitment to the project
Germany Ambassador, His Excellency Ralph Timmermann, who represented all financers of the projects said if the project materializes it will bring clean energy to Malawi, thereby creating integration benefits as it will not benefit Malawi only.
The project will involve the construction of a 218-kilometre 400kV High Voltage Alternating Current transmission line from Matambo in Tete Province in Central Mozambique, past the Malawian border in Mwanza to Phombeya, Balaka from now up to 2023.
The Project will be co-financed by the Government of Malawi USD $ 3.5 M, World Bank- IDA Credit $ 15 M, and European Union through KFW Grant $ 20M.