The World Bank’s lending arm, the International Development Association (IDA), has approved grants and loans totalling 57 million dollars for a project to interconnect the Mozambican and Malawian electricity grids.
Mozambique’s share of the funding involves the construction of a 135-kilometre, 220 kilovolt power line from the Matambo substation to Phombeya in Malawi.
On the Malawi side, about 75 km of 220 kilovolt transmission line would be built and a new 220 kilovolt substation installed at Phombeya.
Like elsewhere in Africa, both countries have been plagued by chronic electricity shortages and the project is another step in the development of a southern African power grid.
In a statement released on Friday, 20 September 2019, the World Bank said that its board of directors agreed to provide Mozambique with a 42 million dollars grant while Malawi would receive a 15-million-dollar loan, both from IDA.
The project, according to the statement, would enable both countries to engage in bilateral and regional power trade in the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP).
“The new Mozambique-Malawi Regional Interconnector Project will establish a transmission link between the two countries to meet increasing electricity demand in Malawi and create opportunities for trading in the SAPP”, said Dhruva Sahai, task team leader of the project.
The project “responds to Mozambique’s sectoral priorities to emerge as a regional energy hub, by exporting power to Malawi. It also increases the country’s potential for exporting electricity through the SAPP to many other countries in future,” noted Mark Lundell, the World Bank country director for Mozambique.