- Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi said on Thursday last week that laying the first stone for the regional electricity interconnection between Mozambique and Malawi is a historic landmark in that the two countries will become relevant actors in the energy market of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
Nyusi expressed this conviction in Matombo, in the western province of Tete where, together with his Malawian counterpart, Lazarus Chakwera, he laid the first stone for the construction of a 400 kilovolt (KV) transmission line through which Mozambique will supply Malawi with 50 megawatts of power.
The line is budgeted at 62 million US dollars. 35 million dollars is to build the line in Mozambique over a distance of 142 kilometres, which the rest will cover the 76 kilometres in Malawi. Along the 218 kilometres, there will be 527 high voltage pylons.
A second component of the project is the expansion of the Matambo sub-station, budgeted at 21 million dollars, in order to guarantee the reliability of the power supply.
“In this way, we are strengthening the solid image of an economic bloc with more than 300 million consumers”, said Nyusi “These undertakings will benefit the development and the interests of our peoples”.
Implementation of this project, he stressed, fits into the SADC master plan for electricity infrastructures for the period 2018-2043, and will contribute significantly to the consolidation of the regional integration of Mozambique with neighbouring SADC counrries,
The interconnection project, Nyusi believed, “opens another window of opportunity for job creation, and will express the dream of the peoples of the two countries to have reliable, good quality electricity”.
This power supply, he continued, will encourage new investments in industry and tourism, and will favour mechanisation which increases productivity. It will also improve access to health care and to education.
For his part Chakwera said the new power line will ensue a safe and reliable electrical interconnection. With the initial supply of 50 megawatts to Malawi, it will also allow Malawi to play a full role in the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP).
Chakwera added that Malawi is interested in increasing the amount of electricity it buys from Mozambique from 50 to 110 megawatts.
Chakwerea added that the recent passage of Cyclone Gombe has destroyed some of the Malawian electricity infrastructure, resulting in the loss of 129 megawatts. It would take some time, he added, for that 129 megawatts to be recovered for the Malawian grid.
“You can imagine how urgent this interconnection between Mozambique and Malawi is” said Chakwera. He believed the project will protect Malawi from future energy losses caused by unforeseen circumstances, and will help bridge the gap between supply and demand.
He hoped that the interconnection will become a source of revenue, when Malawi begins to export energy to the region after meeting its internal demand.
Author: Bryan Groenendaal