Power project to connect 81 000 to grid

lectricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) says the upgraded Kanengo and Lilongwe Old Town Power substations will facilitate connection of 81 000 new electricity users in Lilongwe and surrounding districts to the national grid.

Speaking in an interview during a site visit of the Kanengo Substation in Lilongwe yesterday, Escom chief executive officer Kamkwamba Kumwenda said the substations, whose upgrading was funded by the Japanese Government through Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica), will help the power utility to clear a backlog of power connection applications in the project’s impact areas of Lilongwe, Salima, Kasungu and Mchinji districts.

The Kanengo Substation site visit was followed by a function at the Bingu International Convention Centre to mark the partial launch of the project whose upgrading works are expected to be completed in May this year.

Kumwenda said with the increased capacity, Escom now needs to erect supporting infrastructure in the new residential areas.

He said: “There are areas where there is zero Escom infrastructure. That is where we will require poles, lines and transformers so that those areas can also get connected now that the capacity is there.”

Ministry of Energy Principal Secretary Engineer Alfonso Chikuni said currently, 95 percent of the works have already been completed and that by May this year, all works will be completed.

He said the Lilongwe Old Town Substation will be upgraded from 37 to 50 megawatts (MW) while the Kanengo Substation will be upgraded from 85MW to 160MW.

Said Chikuni: “Power distribution will improve further because at national level, there are other projects aimed at the same. For instance, 120 MW will be contracted from Mozambique when the Malawi/Mozambique power partnership project gets completed.”

Jica country representative in Malawi Kazuhiro Tambara said they were satisfied with the smooth implementation of the upgrading works.

Jica has provided five transformers which were required in the project.

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