Chakwera chides Malawian construction companies

Chakwera and Nyusi at the launch
  • Nyusi,Chakwera launch Malawi-Mozambique Interconnector

Malawi's President Lazarus Chakwera has asked Malawian construction companies to take their work a bit more seriously.

Chakwera was speaking at the launch of construction of 50 MegaWatts Mozambique-Malawi Power Transmission Interconnector Project (MOMA).

Switching to Chichewa, he cited the Marka rail road project in Nsanje where the Mozambique counterpart has made a lot of progress.

"I expect that our contractors on this side will see that this project is done between now and 2023. I have no doubt but I had to emphasise that because our colleagues have taken us seriously and it seems we are not taking ourselves serious.

"The Marka issue is a case in point where they [Mozambicans] are already on our doorstep and we haven't done as much to demonstrate that we too want that line rehabilitated.


"In as much as I'm grateful, that our neighbor when we ask him to help, he does help and comes in with full force, those of us who have asked for that help seem to be moving  slow and some times on technicalities that can be resolved as quickly as possible."

Chakwera said the project will meet increasing electricity demand in Malawi and create avenues for trade in the SAPP, with the prospect of more exchanges of trade and power in the future.

"We can not have factories, gold mining using generators because of climate change; It is expensive and that will also mean those products we make will be expensive."

He was confident the interconnector would be concluded by the 2023 deadline, as both countries have shown commitment to achieve the Southern African regional power goals.

Chakwera said he is: "Glad to see this coming to pass as a step in the direction of integrating infrastructure across SADC for sustainable economic development."

The station

The project starts at Matambo in Tete Province in Mozambique and will cross the Malawi border into Mwanza through Neno to Phombeya Substation in Balaka.

The Malawi Intergrated Resource Plan of 2017 indicated that peak electricity demand will be 1,860MW by 2030.

Currently, Malawi's installed electricity generation capacity is hovering aroud 500MW but only about 400MW is available.

"With the construction of The Malawi/Mozambique Interconnector, our march towards the goal of adding 1000 megawatts to the national grid over the next four years is making steady progress," Chakwera said, adding the project will add 1000 jobs, some temporary while others will be made permanent.

Nyusi: Willingness of the leadership is important in order to achieve success in projects

President Filipe Nyusi of Mozambique added: "Willingness of the leadership is important in order to achieve success in projects. Our people have the needs and desire for power to spar development. Willingness is not itself sufficient. It is a necessary vision and had to be implemented."

The project comprised packages of construction of a 218km Interconnector-76km in Malawi and 142 km in Mozambique and extension of Phombeya substation.

The other package will see construction of  a 400kV Substation at Matambo in Mozambique.

Nyusi and Chakwera
Nyusi and Chakwera egage in a Tete a Tete

The project total cost is approximately US$127 million; Malawi government funding is approximately US$35 million.

The World Bank has pumped in $15 million, European Union €20million and Malawi government through Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi approximately US$2.5 million. KFW Bank is co-financing the project in Malawi.