A Malawian delegation to Mozambique on the revived Malawi-Mozambique power interconnection deal has trashed fears that the agreement will not benefit the nation, saying Malawi stands to benefit a lot if the deal is implemented.
Energy Principal Secretary Dr. Ben Botolo was answering concerns mainly from the opposition DPP that Malawi will be getting a raw deal on the project.
Botolo told Zodiak Radio that there have been changes made to the initial agreement which was rejected by late President Bingu wa Mutharika in 2009.
“Each country will be responsible for its own transmission system within its own territory, hence, here is no upfront payment,” said Botolo.
Last week former Deputy Minister of Energy and Mining and DPP MP Mrs. Vera Chelewani questioned government’s insistence to proceed with the deal, saying the power deal is likely to cost the country about US$100 million to set up. Chelewani failed to elaborate whether the initial setup would not be offset by benefits in the long run.
Botolo said the two countries have drafted a guideline towards the rolling of the transfer of electricity from the Cahora Bassa hydroelectric dam into the country.
Last month, Malawi’s president Joyce Banda and Mozambique’s president Guebeza agreed to revive plans for Mozambique to start supplying electric power to Malawi from the Cahora Bassa hydroelectric dam.
Power from Cahora Bassa is already exported to South Africa and Zimbabwe.
Despite being initiated more than four years ago, the deal faced a stumbling block when Malawi’s former president late Bingu wa Mutharika failed to approve the deal despite massive power failures in the country.