The Minister for Natural Resources, Energy and Mining, Honourable Bright Msaka SC on Tuesday 25th April 2017 led stakeholders in groundbreaking ceremony to officially mark the construction of a six storey Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (MERA) office complex.
As evidenced by the faces of smiles and jubilations, it was a historic and joyous event for MERA to mark the start of the construction its own office building.
Speaking at the ceremony, Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining Hon. Bright Msaka SC hailed MERA for what he called ‘fore-sightedness’ for deciding to construct its own office building saying it will save MERA and the government the rentals that MERA has been paying and also bring in revenues into the public purse for office space that will be let out once the building is completed.
” I must applaud MERA for coming up with a building that is truly magnificent, grand in design, beautiful to the eye, and dazzling to the imagination. Seeing the pictures of the future complex, I can now understand why it has taken you so long to get to this day. This, certainly, is not a half-baked project. Upon the completion of this project, right at the heart of the city centre, a new and more beautiful Lilongwe will be born,” said Hon. Msaka SC.
The Minister said that Government will be following with keen interest the implementation of the project to ensure that it is of high quality and completed within the agreed time to avoid unnecessary cost overruns.
“Let me therefore call upon the contractors, TERRASTONE Limited, and the consultant NORMAN AND DAWBARN, to undertake this project mindful of the fact that the owners of the project, the public, expect the highest standards of construction, highest quality, timeliness and adherence to the agreed budget,” he said.
In his remarks MERA Board Chairperson Right Reverend Dr. Joseph P. Bvumbwe said the construction of the building could have started in 2016 but due to other factors, MERA could not manage to commence since it needed to make sure that everything is in place and that all the paperwork have been properly done.
”Long at last, I am happy that we are here witnessing the groundbreaking ceremony! Many people, most of them here today, have worked tirelessly over this period to make this project a reality. I would like to thank everybody involved for such tremendous work,” said Rev. Bvumbwe.
Since MERA became operational in 2008, it has been growing steadily both in its operations and staff compliment and the Authority foresaw a situation where the office premises MERA is currently renting would not be enough and the cost of renting is increasing overtime.
The Office Complex will have 6 storeys and will cost a total of MK6.9Billion. The construction will be wholly financed with local resources realized from the levies collected by MERA for some time. It is planned that the Office complex will be completed in 2019.
MERA has seized the opportunity of this building to lead the way and show cutting-edge technology in energy-efficient building designs. The building is designed to utilise and conserve natural light, will use solar power, other renewable energy so as to be environmentally friendly.
It will have two underground/basement car parks that can accommodate over 100 cars. Out of the six storeys, MERA will occupy four and the remaining two storeys will be rented out.