The Malawi Government and the World Bank last week signed a joint development agreement for the 258 megawatts (MW) Mpatamanga Hydropower Plant to start next year.
Department of Energy Affairs spokesperson Saidi Jabu said in an e-mail response that the agreement means that the developers of the project, Malawi Government and World Bank’s private sector financing arm International Finance Corporation (IFC) will jointly provide equity to the project and procure a private investor.
“Procurement of the private investor is expected to be completed by December 2019. Thereafter, parties to the project, Government of Malawi, IFC and the private investor, will have to solicit funds for the project,” said Jabu, adding that the estimated cost of the project is $472 million (K349 billion).”
He said all parties to the project will have to meet the cost of the project based on their equity, and so far, the Malawi Government, through the Ministry of Finance has set aside $200 million (K148 billion) from the country’s World Bank International Development Assistance (IDA) window to be used on the project.
Energy expert Grain Malunga, who is also former minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining, in an interview, advised government to construct a reservoir dam as per the project design to sustain Shire River water flow during the dry season.
Malawi faces power supply challenges because of low water level in Shire River.