Escom wants PML’s account management decision reviewed

Power Market Limited (PML) has expressed worry over delays by Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) to initiate processes of management of Bulk Customer Service Transactions and Stabilisation Account.

According to PML Chief Executive Officer Rosemary Mkandawire, despite Mera issuing license to company last year, Escom is yet to allow PML to manage the funds.

In an interview after appearing before the Committee of Parliament on Natural Resources and Climate Change, Mkandawire said the delay has negatively impacted their operations.

“They [Escom] are afraid that if they give up the port they may not have sufficient monies for their operations.

We as PML understands the consequences of moving that account from Escom to PML but we don’t want Escom to suffer, we need to sit down with Escom and Treasury to see how we can make the transition painless,” reasoned Mkandawire.

But reacting to the development, Escom Board Chairperson Frederick Changaya denied holding management of the account saying that what they want is proper review of the procedures.

He said: “I think as Escom we are not necessarily clinging, we are just following the due governance procedures.

“We gave them our reasons why we felt that it should not be transferred, our parents said they will hold a meeting together and then will come back to us on guidance as to how or whether we should transfer finally the licensee.”

Meanwhile, the responsible committee says it is concerned with the development arguing that Escom is operating illegally.

“What is happening is that Independent Power Producers (IPP) are not coming, they shunning the way collection of money is done by Escom, which by the end of the day misappropriates the money.

“If PML can indeed start operating the Single Buyer License, it will attract a lot of investors, IPP and by the end of the day the vision of the President of attaining 1000 megawatts by 2023 is going to be realised,” said Welani Chilenga, the Committee’s chairperson.

Escom was supposed to transfer management of the account by December 31, 2021.

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