On Tuesday, November 23, President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi, who arrived in the country on Monday, joined his host counterpart President Lazarus Chakwera at Phombeya in Balaka District to kick off construction on the Mozambique-Malawi power transmission link project. The interconnection project comprises the building of a 400KV Matambo substation in Tete, Mozambique, and 218km of transmission lines from that source into Malawi, from which Malawi is scheduled to receive 50 megawatts of power.
The transmission lines will run 142 kilometers from Matambo substation to Phombeya, Malawi, passing through Mwanza and Neno districts, and will be finished in 2023. The completion of this project will result in enhanced access to power in Malawi, with an initial capacity of 50MW and the ability to expand in the future. Malawi’s existing power-producing capacity is now hovering around 50MW, according to the 2017 Integrated Resource Plan. By 2030, peak energy demand is expected to reach 1,860MW. The interconnection project aims to contribute to regional economic growth by linking Malawi’s electricity market with the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) to balance the region’s power deficit through regional power trading.
The Mozambique-Malawi power transmission link project’s first phase includes a technical and economic feasibility study, project definition and scope, and an environmental and social impact assessment, all of which were completed in 2017. President Chakwera mentioned the railway repair project that the two nations are working on to connect Malawi to the Sena Line that runs from Vila Nova de Fronteira to Marka across the border. He went on to say that this connectivity project is another milestone in the two countries’ relationship.
According to Chakwere, the initiative intends to open up trade channels in the SAPP, with the possibility of future trade and power exchanges. With the completion of the Malawi-Mozambique Interconnector, he stated that progress toward adding 1,000 megawatts to the national grid over the next four years is being made. The World Bank’s IDA Credit is worth $15 million, the European Union’s KFW Grant is worth $20 million, and the Malawi government is worth $3.5 million. It is planned to generate over 1000 jobs throughout its construction. Nyusi expressed his delight at the Malawi government’s investment of US$3.5 million in the project for the installation of transmission lines along the 76-kilometer stretch, claiming that this shows Chakwera’s administration’s dedication to the project.