MW & TZ Sign MoUs on Multi-million Dollar Power Projects
The governments of Malawi and Tanzania have high hopes that the Songwe Hydro Power Plant they intend to jointly establish at the Lower Songwe River will boost their economic activities.
The neighbouring countries signed two Memorandums of Understanding to improve their energy sectors during a recent meeting of high-profile officials who met in the Tanzanian commercial city Dar es Salaam.
First, the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) and Tanzania's electricity company TANESCO signed an inter utility agreement for power trade.
This agreement, which was signed by ESCOM’s Chief Executive Officer Kamkwamba Kumwenda and his TANESCO counterpart Maharage Chande, will see the construction of transmission lines from Nkhoma in Lilongwe to Songwe for a power interconnection between the two countries.
The other agreement, signed between Malawi's minister of energy Ibrahim Matola and his Tanzanian counterpart January Makamba, worth $761 million is on an intergovernmental pact for collaboration of the two countries on the Songwe Hydropower and Malawi Tanzania Interconnector Project.
Matola said the projects, once completed, will help attract investors since they will be assured of stable power supply, thereby creating job opportunities for the citizens of Malawi.
“More investors will be interested to open their businesses in the northern part of Malawi, this will also create jobs for our people,” said Matola.
The Malawi energy minister said signing of the deals is a follow-up to engagements by heads of state from the two nations who recently had exchange visits.
“One of the key topics at the forefront of these discussions was the construction of the momentous Songwe Dam, a multi-purpose project that holds immense potential for both nations,” added Matola.
He also said the benefits of this energy cooperation extend beyond the boundaries of the two nations and that the impact will be felt throughout the region as it will contribute to the overall stability and progress of East Africa and South Africa through the Eastern African Power and Southern African Power Pool.
Makamba said that the MoUs gives direction and clear roadmap for the projects.
“The MoUs spell out the next steps... one is the formation of joint technical teams. Within one month, each country should appoint a team to start to work on implementation,” he said.
Other than the deals in the pipeline with Tanzania, Malawi also has an agreement to tap power from Mozambique.
That deal was launched by President Lazarus Chakwera and his Mozambican counterpart Filipe Nyusi in April 2022.