The first stone has been laid for an historic regional electricity interconnection project between Mozambique and Malawi.
President Filipe Nyusi on 21 April announced the regional electricity interconnection between Mozambique and Malawi which will result in the two countries becoming key actors in the energy market of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
President Nyusi, together with his Malawian counterpart, Lazarus Chakwera, laid the first stone for the construction of a 400 kilovolt transmission line through which Mozambique will supply Malawi with 50MW of power.
The line is expected to cost $62 million, of which $35m is for building the 142kms line in Mozambique with the remainder covering the 76kms line in Malawi. In total, there will be 527 high voltage pylons.
A second component of the project is the expansion of the Matambo sub-station, budgeted at $21m, which will guarantee the reliability of the power supply.
President Nyusi stressed that the implementation of this project is part of the SADC master plan for electricity infrastructure for the period 2018-2043. It will contribute significantly to the consolidation of the regional integration of Mozambique with neighbouring SADC countries.
The interconnection project, President 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 education.
Chakwera said the new power line will ensure 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). He added that Malawi is interested in increasing the amount of electricity it buys from Mozambique from 50 to 110MW.
He lamented that the recent passage of Cyclone Gombe had destroyed some of the Malawian electricity infrastructures, resulting in the loss of 129MW on the grid which would take time to recover. “You can imagine how urgent this interconnection between Mozambique and Malawi is,” said the Malawian President.