Intra Energy Corporation (IEC), an Australian Stock Exchange listed firm and owners of Malawi Coal Mining (Malcoal), will construct a 120-megawatt coal-fired power generation plant at Chipoka, Salima.
In a recent press release, IEC says it has executed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Malawi Government for a coal-fired power station.
“IEC is pleased to announce that it has executed an MoU with the government of the Republic of Malawi for the construction and operation of a 120-megawatt coal powered station. IEC through a wholly owned subsidiary in Malawi will sponsor the design, construction and operation of a 120MW coal-fired power generation facility at Chipoka in Salima.
“The parties have agreed that the electricity generated from the project is to be sold to the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi [Escom] and other third parties under separate power purchase agreements and transmitted and distributed by Escom under a wheeling agreement. The project is very significant as the MoU was signed directly with the Government of Malawi rather than the power utility company, Escom,” reads the statement in part.
In an interview on Tuesday, Minister of Energy Ibrahim Matola confirmed the execution of the MoU and said the development is good news for Malawi.
“Currently, we have an energy deficit that is why we experience load shedding. The coal that will be used in generating the electricity will come from the Northern Region and will be shipped through Lake Malawi to Chipoka. The electricity will be used among others, by a heavy sand mining company and the remainder will be used by other consumers.
“So far we are working on a number of strategies to increase power supply and manage demand. We will this year commission Kapichira Phase II and we have also signed the Malawi-Mozambique power interconnector agreement. We will soon have solar energy that will be used at our airports. We also have energy saver bulbs that have reduced the energy demand,” said Matola.
Malawi currently produces 287MW against a demand of 350MW mainly from hydro resources which are subject to climate change.
Earlier, in February the Malawi Institute of Engineers (MIE) said the country will enjoy a stint of adequate power supply by the end of this year, before slipping back to the current state of energy deficit.
MIE president Mathews Mtumbuka in an e-mail said the construction of Kapichira Phase II is a milestone, although a major milestone is on closing the power demand-supply deficit this year.
Kapichira Phase II is expected to be commissioned in December this year and will add about 64.8MW into the national grid.