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Malawi Government committed to Compact implementation As the Kapichira plant is Commissioned

Malawi Government committed to Compact implementation As the Kapichira plant is commissioned 

The Government of Malawi continues to show commitment to the implementation of the MCA Compact as it commissioned the Kapichira Hydro power plant in Chikhwawa.  Completions and commissioning of Kapichira was one of the conditions precedence for the Compact to enter into force.  The Government submitted the completion schedule for the power plant prior to EIF on September 20, 2014.

“This hydropower plant is complimentary and contributes significantly to the success and viability of the Infrastructure Development Project because upgrading Transmission and Distribution network alone (under the MCC Compact fund) will be meaningless without having enough power to meet the estimated energy demand,” Infrastructure Development Project Director, Felix Nkhoma says.

The commissioning of Kapichira adds 64MW of power to the national grid.  This makes Kapichira ESCOM’s largest power generator in Malawi supplying 128MW.  Currently, Malawi generates 352MW of power against the demand of 350MW.

 

Despite the increase in power generation, evacuation remains a challenge due to the weak transmission and distribution network.  However, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) USD350.7 Million grant which the government of Malawi has started accessing since entry into force on September 20, 2013 will change it all.

The Millennium Challenge Account Compact (MCA Compact) funds will support the Government of Malawi to evacuate power hence to improve the availability, reliability, and quality of the power supply. These investments will increase the throughput capacity and stability of the national electricity grid and increase efficiency of hydropower generation.   

Under the project, the Compact will upgrade the backbone of Malawi’s transmission network by constructing a 400kV line from Phombeya to Lilongwe.  The investment will also increase evacuation capacity of the Chintheche – Luwinga – Bwengu lines from 66kV to 132kV line.  This investment will be strengthened with construction, upgrading and rehabilitation of substations.