By Steven Godfrey Mkweteza
In a bid to reduce monopoly in the electricity sector, a new independent single buyer company is set to roll out its operations in the country later this year.
In an interview during the first public hearing on the review of the 2018-2022 Escom electricity base for the tariff application held in Blantyre, Director of energy in the ministry of natural resources and environment in Malawi(MNREM) Joseph Kalowekamo said all was set for the new company to roll out its operations in the country.
Kawolekamo said to date, government has signed over 40 memorandum of understanding on power purchase and supply agreement with suppliers.
” We are trying to come up with new power market restructure so as to widen the market base and get away from monopoly. This will also make the consumers to have a freedom as to where to buy electricity,” said Kawolekamo.
Kawolekamo added that the long term power supply would be affordable and useable, saying the tariff for the single independent entity would be MK5 for the next four years.
The director, who declined to mention the name of the single independent buyer, said the government preferred the local independent power buyer to international.
Kawolekamo said the idea come as a result of public reform program that government undertook, where by it discovered that Escom was failing to perform some of its activities due to overburden of work.
He said under the single buyer initiative, government would invest over MK719 Billion to purchase power for the next four years.
The development would mean the second unbundling of ESCOM after Egenco.
Currently, Escom is the sole buyer of electric power in the country. It buys electric power from Egenco and other independent power suppliers.