Electricity Generation Company (Malawi) Limited (EGENCO) is expected to commission a 10 megawatts solar power plant at Nanjoka in Salima by end of 2023 having signed a construction contract with Chinese electrical company, CHINT Group.
Representing CHINT Group, Dennis Chu Liang expressed their commitment to complete the project in time, saying they will hit the ground rolling through a feasibility study before commencement of the construction with the whole project to take 18 months to complete.
The contractor has vast experience in developing solar power systems in Asia, Europe and other African countries such as Egypt, South Africa, Morocco and Ghana — where they have developed power plants totaling 400MW.
Chu Liang also assured of professionalism since they also manufacture most of the materials needed for solar power generation
EGENCO’s Chief Executive Officer, William Liabunya this is part of the company’s drive of not only increasing power generation, but also to diversify its power sources.
“We have to look to the future and ensure that power supply is sustainable to the nation,” he said. “We are venturing into alternative sources of power such as solar in order to continue improving power generation in the country.”
Liabunya further said the 10MW is the first phase of project towards a scalable 20MW solar power plant that will be implemented back to back.
Plans are to have a scalable 50MW project but the other 30MW shall be done after completion of the two phases, whose concept was rolled out in 2017 as soon as the company was formed to be generating power for Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM).
“This solar power plant assures us to supply extra power to ESCOM for it to connect to more customers and thereby generate more economic activities that need electricity.
“We also have a coal powered projected being considered through a feasibility study being carried out at Kammwamba [in Balaka District] by a German consultant, whom we are expected to receive a report from in November,” Liabunya said.
Also present at the function was Principal Secretary in Ministry of Energy, Patrick Matanda, who said this was a step in the right direction and in line with government strategy and policy.
“We made it a policy position to diversify sources of power to the country due to recent shortages of water,” Matanda said. “We are excited that we are now looking at solar when the country has largely been reliant on hydro power.”
The Salima plant is being implemented with battery storage and is being funded by EGENCO’s own resources at a total cost of US$17 million, approximately K15 billion.
Just last month, ESCOM was awarded key contracts for the construction of the 218kms transmission interconnector from Matambo substation under the Mozambique–Malawi interconnection project.
Indian contractor, L&T will do the construction works of transmission line and the extension of Phombeya substation in Balaka while Chinese firm, Sinohydro will upgrade works at Matambo substation.
Both works to be supervised by Gopa Intec International from Germany, as announced by ESCOM’s Senior Project Manager Alex Kaitane at a press briefing, saying the contractors are now mobilising moving into design phase.
The project, that was initially to have been scheduled to be completed by December 2022, is now targeted for October 2023. The delay is due to CoVID-19 which affected works and organisation when the experts were already doing some preparatory works for the project.
The project is being jointly managed and implemented by a team comprising officers from EDM in Mozambique and ESCOM in Malawi in the Joint Project Implementation Unit.
It is being financed by World Bank, European Union through KfW and the Government of Malawi through ESCOM at a total cost is US$127 million and once completed, it will add 50 megawatts to the country’s power grid.
During President Lazarus Chakwera’s visit to Mozambique in November last year for bilateral talks, his host President Filipe Nyusi had pledged that his government would supply energy to Malawi through the already existing projects using Matambo Substation in Tete and Phombeya.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :