Malawi government has a month to approve power link with Mozambique

10 February 2010

Maputo, Mozambique, 10 Feb – The Malawian government has a deadline of 15 March to approve the electricity interlinking project with Mozambique, funded by the World Bank, Mozambican daily newspaper, Notícias reported.

The project, which aims to build a 220 kilovolt (Kv) interlinking and transmission system between Matambo, in Mozambique’s Tete province and Phombeya in Blantyre, Malawi, is expected to cost US$48 million.

Malawi runs the risk of losing the loan provided by the World Bank in 2007 to fund the electrical interlinking project with Mozambique if it does not approve the project by 15 March.

Under Malawian law access to the loan depends on Parliamentary approval of a government proposal, but the country’s parliament does not have the power to force the government to put the proposal forward before 15 March, which means that Malawi may definitively lose access to World Bank funding.

The World Bank provided the loan to Malawi in June, 2007, but after delays in its approval the World Bank decided to give Malawi an ultimatum of December last year, which teh Malawian government did not meet.

Whilst awaiting approval of the loan by the Malawian parliament, Mozambican power distribution company EDM and the World Bank were negotiating the execution of the project, which aims to make importing Mozambican electricity to Malawi easier.

The project includes 124 kilometres of 220 Kv transmission cable on the Mozambican side, 76 kilometres of cable and construction of a sub-station on the Malawian side. (macauhub)