Africa must invest more in its transmission system if must get electricity supply right, according to Lazarus Angbazo, the CEO of General Electric Power in Sub-Saharan Africa. Massive amounts of power is being lost as a result of inefficient transmission networks and unavailability of real time information on the grid.
The Nigerian CEO made the observation during the installation and commissioning of the Energy Management (EMS) and telecommunications systems at 26 substations of the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM), a project financed by the US Government’s Millenium Challenge Corporation.
“The ability to monitor the grid in real time is a key requirement to secure electricity supply nationwide. GE’s EMS solution will enable the state-owned power utility to easily monitor, control and coordinate the related electrical networks, regulate power voltage within the transmission grid and identify system failure in those substations that are connected to the SCADA system.”
He said that the grid modernisation and expansion will not only benefit Malawians but would also “pave the way toward development of Africa’s regional interconnections.”
The project will provide ESCOM with the tools to securely interconnect with neighboring countries (Mozambique, Zambia & Tanzania) and reduce technical losses in the transmission system in the medium-term whilst fostering economic growth in the long-term.
Jeanne Hauch, Vice President and General Counsel, Millennium Challenge Corporation said, “The work we have accomplished through the MCC Malawi Compact has created the foundation for a modern power system in Malawi. The experience and expertise of partners such as GE are critical to the success of a compact. GE’s technology is providing real-time and remotely managed information on Malawi’s electrical grid and power outages. This kind of work has set the stage for Malawi’s continued economic development.”
Currently 3.2 million households in Malawi have no access to electricity.