MALAWI: Electricity :
On & off: Malawi power supply

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LILONGWE - Malawi has been plagued by on and off power connections and the interconnection project that could end blackouts with power imported from neighbouring Mozambique is also a hot and cold case.
Currently Malawi's total demand for power stands at 300 megawatts, but the country's generation capacity is only 266 MW. This shortfall is projected to grow rapidly in a country where the World Bank says only eight percent of the population of 14 million has access to electricity. Malawi's hydro-electric station on the Shire, the country's largest river, is hampered by siltation and outdated equipment, making the power supply in this Southern Africa country erratic. The Ministry of Energy estimates that the country will need 603 MW by 2015 and 829 MW by 2020. Meanwhile a 2008 proposal backed by a 200 million dollar package from the World Bank to buy power from Mozambique has faced numerous delays. Last year the plan seemed stillborn, when Malawi's government canned it over cost concerns. However Malawi's new government, led by Joyce Banda - who assumed power three days after President Bingu wa Mutharika's death in April has moved quickly to revive the project. (END/RADIO BULLETIN EDITOR/2012)

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