President Lazarus Chakwera has disclosed that his government has secured a K60 billion ($60 million) soft loan from the World Bank to rehabilitate Kapichira Hydropower in the next six months.
Kapachira was damaged and lost 135 Megawatts (Mw) due to Tropical Storm Anna forcing the country to resort to load-shedding.
Chakwera disclosed this during the commissioning of the 20 Mw Golomoti Solar Project which uses a battery storage system.
He said the rehabilitation of Kapichira is very critical because it will ensure that the country stays focused on reaching the target of having 1000 Mw supplied to the grid within the next three years.
“Blackouts have been inconvenient but Malawians can expect to see a significant drop in blackouts by christmas,” he said
Chakwera also instructed the Minister of Energy, Ibrahim Matola, to urgently resolve all government bureaucracy that hinder Independent Power Producers (IPP) from starting implementation.
He said: ” I, therefore, trust you to attend to this matter and give me a report by the end of this month on the status of each IPP that has expressed interest in helping us with our energy needs.”
Minister of Energy, Matola, urged the IPPs to speed up their processes within two to three weeks.
“With consultation from the Attorney General (AG) we will cancel all contracts that do not show interest in investing in the sector,” he said.
However, JCM Power Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Christian Wray, said his company will continue to expand solar energy to make sure the government realizes its goal.
“The continuous improvement of the energy situation in Malawi is of critical importance to the economic development of the country,” he said.
Meanwhile, JCM Solar Power as an IPP is adding 80 Mw of energy to the national grid from its Salima project contributing 60 Mw and Golomoti 20 Mw.