By Antony Isaiah Jr
As Malawians are facing the plight of persistent blackouts, the Government of Unitef Kingdom has jumped with an investment of 350 megawatts Mpatamanga Hydro-power Station.
The government of Malawi and the United Kingdom signed the commercial binding agreement yesterday in Lilongwe, a move that the government of Malawi describes as a one step towards their target of adding 1000 megawatts to the national grid in the next free years.
The £162 million project which is going to very developed by a Consortium composed of EDF Group and Scatec together with its venture partners, the British International Investment (BII) and Norfund is expected to double the electricity generation in Malawi hence curbing the problem of blackouts.
Malawians are suffering from blackouts and the situation have been triggered by the destruction of Kapichira Hydro-power Station that has led to the loss of about 129 megawatts on national grid due to the Tropical Cyclone Ana.
UK Government committed to fulfill pledges
The government of United Kingdom has shown its commitment towards fulfilling its pledges that it made some months ago in supporting the economic growth of Malawi.
Months ago, the newly appointed British High Commissioner to Malawi, Fiona Richie reaffirmed the British government’s commitment to supporting Malawi in securing a future that is accountable for good governance and economically prosperous for all Malawians.
She made the remarks at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe where she was presenting her letters of credence to the President of Malawi, Dr Lazarus Chakwera.
Ritchie said the British government was committed to continuing grow its bilateral relations with Malawi in various sectors of development such as Education, Health and Agriculture for the goodness of the majority of Malawians and British.
She said among her priorities is to strength the cooperation between Malawi and Britain and help Malawi in dealing with socio-economic woes the country is experiencing.
“Our priorities are to make sure that the relationship between the two countries, trying to improve the prosperity of the ordinary Malawians,” said Ritchie
On the project, The Debuty British High Commissioner David Pert said the United Kingdom is committed to develop Hydro-power projects across the Sub-Saharan region.
“We are pleased to announce that the UK will be investing into the flagship 350 Megawatts (MW) Mpatamanga Hydropower Project through British International Investment (BII).
“The project will double electricity generation in Malawi. The UK is directly investing as a shareholder in the project. The UK has committed up to £162m to develop hydropower projects across sub-Saharan Africa. The signing of a commercial binding agreement took place in Lilongwe earlier today,” announced the UK in Malawi.
Malawi Government delighted with the UK Support
Speaking on behalf of the Mawi Government at the signing ceremony, Minister of Finance Sosten Gwengwe said the project will have an impact in the development of the country’s economy.
Echoing his sentiment was The State President, Dr Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera who said he was delighted with the project because it is in line with the Tonse Alliance’s target of adding 1000 megawatts to the national grid.
Chakwera said the project has entailed that Malawi is surely turning corners towards the energy sector into a backbone of the economic transformation.
“The Government of Malawi has been fully supported by the World Bank through International Finance Corporation in project development and tendering processes.
“I am delighted because the $1 Billion electricity deal speaks into our administration’s target of adding 1000 megawatts to the grid in the next three years.
“This sort of investment also indicates that Malawi is now an attractive destination for private sector investment in the energy sector.
“We are surely turning the corner towards developing the energy sector into a backbone of economic transformation,” said Chakwera through his Facebook page.