A call for proposals has recently been launched by Electricity Generation Company (Malawi) Ltd (Egenco), the state-owned company responsible for the production and distribution of electricity. It wants to supply 20 MW of solar energy to the National Grid.
The call for tenders for the construction of an EPC (Engineering Procurement Construction) solar power plant for the Malawian national company Electricity Generation Company Ltd (Egenco) closed on Thursday, March 7, 2019. The public company responsible for the production and distribution of electricity wishes to supply 20 MW to the national grid. “Egenco plans to install the solar park near a growing freight transit centre in Salima to maximise the benefits for the National Grid and meet demand during rush hours in the afternoon,” the company said.
Salima is a city near Lake Malawi where goods from Tanzania or Mozambique pass through. Near this city of more than 50,000 inhabitants, a plot of land has been developed to accommodate the future facility. The project is expected to be carried out in two phases. First, the selected company will install the solar panels to produce 10 MW. The second phase should add 10 MW.
Solar energy: A necessity for Malawi
The drought in southern and eastern African countries is not sparing Malawi’s rivers. Yet the country depends on its rivers to produce electricity, with a currently installed capacity of more than 411 MW, according to Egenco. The diesel generators supply 17 MW. With the declining flow of rivers, the authorities are logically turning to solar energy, which guarantees a more sustainable solution.
Several projects are underway in the country, sometimes developed by private power producers (PPIs). Examples include CWY Matswani Solar Corp Limited, a Malawian PPI. In February 2019, it launched a call for expressions of interest for the construction of a 40 MW solar power plant. The energy produced is expected to be sold through a power purchase agreement (PPA) to Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi Ltd (Escom), a state-owned power generation company in Malawi. The PPA runs for a period of 20 years.
JCM Matswani Solar Corp Limited also has a 60 MW solar project in Kanzimbe, in the Salima District, on the southwestern shore of Lake Malawi in central Malawi. The construction of this facility was launched in December 2018, in the presence of President Peter Mutharika. Here too, the energy will be bought back by Escom.
Jean Marie Takouleu