Malawi’s current electricity demand is projected to be in the region 400 MW with the expected rise to 1000MW by year 2020 against the installed power generation capacity of 351.75MW, which is also riddled with intermittent power supply as a result of ageing generation, transmission and distribution equipment and environmental effects on the Shire River where the country sources up to 98% of electricity.
A rapidly rising population and the slow rate of connection means the “electricity deficit” continues to grow.
Even having a connection is not a guarantee of power. You can hear phrases like “kuzima zima”, refering to the on-again, off-again “load shedding” “process, where electricity is rationed to cope with overwhelming demand.
President Mutharika, according to China’s director general of African Affairs Department in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Lin Songtian, always sends messages to the President of China on electricity generation.
“It is an urgent thing for him [Mutharika]. If Malawi is to attract investors, it needs electricity,” said Lin to a contingent of Malawian journalists on a visit to the country.
China needs a feasibility study first before it comes in to assist the country, Lin said.
He said China has encouraged a Chinese company to conduct a feasibility study on Kammwamba Coal Fired Power Plant project which is expected to generate about 300 megawatts(MW).