Malawian consumers should expect to dig deeper into their pockets following the increase of electricity tariffs an average of 24.67 percent.
The increase is as a result of Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority’s (Mera) approval of an application by Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) to hike electricity tariffs by 24.67 percent once the service provider starts using the controversial gen-sets.
Mera chief executive officer Collins Magalasi said they received “a request” from Escom to increase the tarrifs last year but they asked the service provider not implement the approved tariffs when it starts “supplying power from the generators.”
President Peter Mutharika will on today (Wednesday) commission power generators that are expected to add 55 megawatts (MW) to the country’s national power grid.
The gen-sets are expected to ease extended load shedding hours as Malawians have been experiencing which Escom attributed to the decline in the water levels in Lake Malawi and the Shire River.
Currently, Escom charges K58.80 per kilowatts per hour and with the 24.67 percent hike, the price of electricity per kilowatts will likely increase to K73.23.
Consumer Association of Malawi (Cama) executive director John Kapito said what it matters is “Malawians to have electricity all times.”
Initially, the gen-sets were supposed to start running from October last year but failed due to what the Office of the Director of Public Procurement (ODPP) described as Escom’s poor handling of the procurement process as no single generator had been procured by then.
It is reported that in December 2016, Escom’s evaluation committee recommended that lots one and two in Mapanga and Kanengo be awarded to APR energy with evaluated prices of $34.6 million and $24.9 million while lot three at Chinyama in Kasungu was recommended for award to Aggreko International Projects at $18.9 million.
However, when the bids’ evaluation team presented its report to the internal procurement committee (IPC), the recommendations were not upheld. The gene-sets deal has been riddled with corruption.