Africa Energy and Power Limited, an independent power producer (IPP), has unveiled plans to build a $125 million (about K99 billion) 75 megawatts (MW) hybrid power plant at Wovwe in Karonga.
The 75MW is a single hybrid power project comprising 50MW from coal and 25MW from solar power.
This follows a successful review and preliminary approval of an unsolicited IPP proposal submitted by African Energy and Power Limited to Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) in February last year and later to Power Market Limited (PML) in July.
In a statement, African Energy and Power Limited managing director Lumbani Mbale said the approval is an important step towards the accomplishment of the power project.
“At African Energy, we exist to create value and provide sustainable power and energy solutions to the Malawian population through sustainable strategic relationships with relevant stakeholders,” he said.
Mbale also said that following the licensing of MPL by Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) as a single buyer, the project is expected to move at a much faster pace than before.
He said the project will create jobs for more than 100 formal and semi-skilled workers, including providing economic multiplier effect around the project.
One of the project engineers, Chris Heinermann, said combining coal and solar power generation will reduce pollution associated with coal power production while offering electricity to the grid at a competitive tariff.
After reviewing the unsolicited proposal, PML has given the firm a go-ahead to proceed with prefeasibility studies on the project.
In correspondence that we have seen, PML confirmed that the African Energy hybrid power plant proposal is in line with its power procurement plan and that the project can proceed to prefeasibility studies.
Once successful, the project will add value to the energy sector by improving power supply to the national grid, which has an installed capacity of 422.2MW.
Through one of its parent companies, GDP Capital and Minerals Limited, African Energy will have access to over 500 000 tonnes of coal per annum to power the plant from its Nthalire, Mwankenja, Nakonde and Lufira coal basins, currently under exploration.
Apart from power production, African Energy is also one of the few licensed wholesalers and importers of liquid fuels and gas.