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7 independent power producers await Escom nod to enter the power sector

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Seven Independent Power Producers (IPPs), who already signed an agreement with the government, are awaiting Escom’s nod to commence their projects.

From 2011, the government has signed agreements with 17 IPPs to enter the power sector in the country.

Ministry of energy Principal Secretary Ben Botolo said the government signed Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) with 17 IPPs who are at various stages of developing power plants.

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“Since power projects take time to develop, the government expects the projects to take a period of one to three years with the quick ones to implement like solar being implemented first.

“There are various potential power generation projects for which IPPs are expected to develop, while others will be developed by the government itself,” said Botolo.

According to information from the department, IPPs such as Atlas Energy, CTI Africa LLC, JCM Clean Power Development, Africa Energy and Power Corporation, CDC Group, Bua Hydro power and Ulalo Capital Investments are currently negotiating with the Electicity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) at various stages.

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Atlas Energy, a solar power producer, is the only IPP who is waiting to sign a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Escom after successfully going through all the required processes.

Atlas signed a MoU with the government on February 10, 2015 for an immediate power production of 40 MW, with a 200 MW pipeline to be built later.

The other six companies are negotiating with Escom on the Power Purchase Agreements.

Atlas chairperson Konrad Buckle said the company is ready to roll out the solar project, immediately Escom signs the PPA.

“We are set to roll out; the only delaying factor is for Escom to sign with us the PPA. We hope to sign the agreement before the year end,” he said.

Buckle said the additional 40MW which Atlas could add on the grid in its first phase will make a difference in terms of power supply in the country.

“Power is a back bone of the economy. Without power, there will be no production hence the need for consistent power supply,” said Buckle.

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