Jul 06, 2012
Malawi adjusts power pricing thinking in bid to attract private developersBack
CoAL|Contractor|Environment|Escom|Hydropower|PROJECT|Resources|Supply Corporation|US’s Millennium Challenge Corporation|China|Malawi|Mozambique|USD|Electricity|Electricity Sector|Electricity Tariffs|Energy|Power Generation|Power Producers|Power-generation|Shire River|Ben Botolo|Bingu|Joyce Banda|Ken Lipenga|Power
© Reuse this
Finance Minister Ken Lipenga said when he presented the country’s 2012 Budget to Parliament last month that the measures included gradually removing subsidies on electricity supplied by Escom to ensure the tariffs were at full cost-recovery levels.
“There has been limited private-sector investment in the power sector in Malawi because electricity tariffs have been set too low. The adjustment of electricity tariffs to full cost-recovery levels will create incentives for private-sector investment in power generation and distribution.”
Lipenga added: “Because energy is the lifeblood of industry, immediate reforms are needed to create a conducive environment for scaling up capacity. In pursuit of this goal, we have increased electricity tariffs by 63.52% so that revenues in the sector are closer to cover- ing the costs of production. This measure is a move towards a more market-determined tariff structure in the electricity sector.
“It is our intention to have a pricing structure that reflects the long-run average cost of producing electricity in order to allow the private sector to invest in further generation capacity.”
Lipenga said the upward adjustment of the country’s electricity tariffs would also assist Escom in raising funds to meet the cost of importing electricity from Mozambique under the planned World Bank-financed Mozam-bique–Malawi power interconnector project.
Malawi, which generates 98% of its electricity from hydropower plants on the Shire river, has an installed generation capacity of less than 300 MW, while demand is around 400 MW and is projected to increase to 700 MW by 2020.
Meanwhile, the Malawi government says it is optimistic about its negotiations with the US’s Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), from which it is seeking $350-million for the power sector. The deal was suspended over concerns about poor governance and lack of respect for the rule of law during the previous administration of the late President Bingu wa Mutharika.
Lipenga said, thanks to positive reforms initiated by the administration of the country’s new President, Joyce Banda, MCC had reopened its country office in Malawi and there were high hopes that the US federal agency would resuscitate the grant.
Proceeds from the MCC grant would be used mainly to rehabilitate Malawi’s power plants, which frequently break down, contributing enormously to the country’s electricity woes.
In a related development, the Malawi government says its Kapichira 2 hydroelectric power station will come on stream in August 2013.
The station will add 64 MW to Malawi’s power grid.
Ministry of Energy and Mines principal secretary Ben Botolo says: “We expect to have the machines at the site between August and December this year. The contractor has already worked on the designs and the specifications have been taken to China.”
In other efforts to increase power production capacity, Malawi is implementing the $70-million World Bank-financed Malawi Energy Sector Support Project, which involves a number of surveys to identify and develop potential for electricity generation on a number of rivers in the country, and is also pursuing a project to quantify its coal resources for electricity generation.
Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other News This Week News
Recent Research Reports
Steel 2015: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2015 report provides an overview of the key developments in the global steel industry and particularly of South Africa’s steel sector over the past year, including details of production and consumption, as well as the country's primary carbon...
Projects in Progress 2015 - First Edition (PDF Report)
In fact, this edition of Creamer Media’s Projects in Progress 2015 supplement tracks developments taking place under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme, which has had four bidding rounds. It appears to remain a shining light on the...
Electricity 2015: A review of South Africa's electricity sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Electricity 2015 report provides an overview of State-owned power utility Eskom and independent power producers, as well as electricity planning, transmission, distribution and the theft thereof, besides other issues.
Construction 2015: A review of South Africa’s construction sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2015 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; the key participants in the sector; local construction demand; geographic diversification;...
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
This Week's Magazine
While economic forecasts for the African continent are most favourable, African airlines may not be able to benefit from the expected growth in the region’s gross domestic product (GDP), International Air Transport Association VP: Africa Raphael Kuuchi has warned....
The Automotive Production and Development Programme (APDP) will need to change substantially post 2020, says Metair Investments South African operations COO Ken Lello. “We must not make tweaks. We have to change. What we are doing is not sustainable.”
Banking group Absa’s forecast is for the rand to end the year at around R13 against the dollar, weakening further to R13.50 by 2016, says Absa sectoral analyst Jacques du Toit. He warns that possible interest rate hikes in the US may see capital being pulled from...
The Dispute Resolution Centre at the Bargaining Council for the Civil Engineering Industry (BCCEI) is now open to handle party-to-party disputes. The BCCEI represents the interests of all level four to nine Construction Industry Development Board companies.
Communications technology firm Ericsson sub-Saharan Africa head Fredrik Jejdling says the company’s commitment to sustainability and corporate responsibility has been integrated into all facets of its operations, which has provided it with sustainable revenue...