ZAMBIA and Malawi have signed inter-governmental and utility memoranda of understanding (MoUs) for the 330KV interconnector.
Minister of Mines and Energy Christopher Yaluma signed on behalf of the Zambian Government while Malawi’s Minister of Natural Resources, Energy And Mining Bright Msaka signed on behalf of Lilongwe.
Speaking in Lusaka during the signing ceremony, Mr Yaluma said the MoUs come at a right time when Zambia was having an unanticipated power crisis.
Mr Yaluma said the MoUs would help guarantee the ability of power supply and security from both countries.
He stressed that the Zambian Government would position itself within the SADC countries to ensure that interconnectivity was done across the entire region.
“Benefits might not be very much right now but this will help manage our power networks in the region effectively,” he said.
Mr Yaluma also said Government would sign other MoUs with Mozambique and other countries within the vicinity.
“In DR Congo we are putting up another 330 Kvs as well as Sizabona which is now connecting to Zimbabwe, Botswana into Namibia.
We are trying to position ourselves to have power at any time either by way of importing or exporting. So those are things we are looking at,” he said.
And Mr Msaka said energy had become a challenge to both countries and that it had become a commodity to sell across borders.
Mr Msaka said Malawi recognized that there were moments when it would need power from other countries to supplement its requirements.
“It’s necessary that we interconnect with all the countries we share borders with; our first interconnector is Zambia and we look forward for it to bear fruits,” he said.
He observed that his country still had a long way to go because Zambia was way ahead of Malawi in terms of power supply.
The agreement was also signed by Zesco acting managing director Best Phiri and Malawi’s Eskom chief executive officer John Kadulu.
The MoUs will support the construction of the Zambia- Malawi 330 KVs interconnector and improve trade in power for both countries.
It also involves telecommunications and interconnectivity through an optic ground wire from Chipata to Malawi’s Nkhoma substation yet to be constructed.
The substation will be located near Malawi’s commercial capital Blantyre and 100 kilometres from Chipata in Eastern Province.