By Erik Chiputula:
In a bid that would ensure sanity in the country’s energy sector, Minister of Energy Ibrahim Matola has ordered Power Market Limited (PML) to revoke licenses of all idle Independent Power Producers years after their licenses were issued.
The Minister’s order comes amid growing public frustrations with the increased power blackouts in the country despite government making huge investments in the energy sector among them being the unbundling of ESCOM which gave birth to two more companies EGENCO and PML.
On Thursday, the minister took a bold step to ensure there is sanity in the energy sector by ordering PML to revoke licenses of all IPPs that have been idle despite being issued with licenses.
The Minister’s order follows revelations that three IPPs are yet to roll out despite being issued with licenses dating back to 2019.
“These idle IPPs are frustrating our efforts to grow the energy sector. They have to go and create space for potential investors in the energy sector.
“The president’s vision has been that of a vibrant energy sector but if we cling on to these idle IPPs then that vision won’t be realised,” said Matola.
Reacting to the order PML Chief Executive Officer Rosemary Mkandawire said she will consult the Attorney General before acting on the Minister’s order to avoid lawsuits from the aggrieved parties.
PML was created to help regulate power generation in the country by incorporating Independent Power Producers apart from just relying on EGENCO.
However since it’s introduction the company has been facing criticism on what it’s mandate exactly is as many feel the company was just created by the former rulling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) as a conduit of syphoning government money.
Many have also criticized PML for what they have called over-stepping it’s mandate.