Malawi rejects power imports from Cahora Bassa, Mozambique

30 July 2010

Maputo, Mozambique, 30 July – The President of Malawi Wednesday rejected the possibility of importing power from the Mozambican hydroelectric facility of Cahora Bassa, saying it was “unfeasible” and a “waste.”

According to the Malawian president, Bingu wa Mutharika, who was speaking to journalists in the capital of Malawi, Lilongwe, “the link to HCB (Cahora Bassa Hydroelectroc Dam) would only be favourable to Mozambique, Malawi would be forced to pay US$1 million per month to that company.”

Cited Friday by Rádio Moçambique (RM), Bingu wa Mutharika said it was an “unfeasible” deal and noted that “as President of Malawi I will not authorise this to happen as this would mean the loss of the little foreign currency the country has.”

Official figures show that every year the Malawian economy loses around 182 million euros, or 4.4 percent of its GDP, due to a lack of power.

Specialists from the power industry, cited by RM, have said that Malawi could save that amount if it opted to be supplied by HCB, for an annual payment of around 9 million euros.

The Malawian head of state also set aside the possibility of signing a deal with the World Bank, for a 36.7 million-euro loan for construction of a power transmission line from the Mozambican province of Tete, where HCB is located, to Malawi.

In order not to become dependent on Mozambique, Bingu wa Mutharika explained that the country would boost the use of its own water resources to produce the power it needs.

Malawi borders Mozambique in the centre and the north. (macauhub)