The government is being faulted for dissolving the Power Market Limited (PML) and transferring its responsibility to ESCOM.
This follows a secular from Secretary to Treasury which advised Secretary to Energy to spearhead the PML’s dissolution.
PML was created alongside EGENCO when ESCOM was unbundled through energy reforms which aimed at attracting Independent Power Producers –IPPs to bring efficiency in the energy sector.
Ideally, PML was responsible for buying electricity from IPPs to sustain EGENCO’s generation into the national grid.
However, this decision, according to energy specialist and former energy minister Grain Malunga is retrogressive.
Malunga said ESCOM already failed to handle some responsibilities before hence the decision to entrust EGENCO with some duties if at all the dissolution was necessary.
Energy authorities have postponed consultations on the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi-ESCOM’s application for the 2022-2026 Electricity Base Tariff implementation.
According to a statement from the Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (MERA), the move is resultant of the dissolution of the Power Market Limited (PML).
The tariff covers generation cost, single buyer (PML), and system market operator as well as distribution and transmission activities.
In an interview with Capital FM, MERA Spokesperson Fitina Khonje has indicated that the the cancellation is on grounds that a party to the application is dissolved.
She added that ESCOM will now have to make a fresh application as the terms will now have to be in line with the fact that they are also carrying single buyer responsibilities and not PML.
The issue of ESCOM wanting to adjust its tariff generates debate every time it comes up, as the public and various stakeholders argue that there is no valid basis considering the frequent power outages they are subjected to.
The energy authority has since indicated that new dates for the exercise are yet to be proposed.