The Public Private Partnership Commission (PPPC) is discussing a $1.1billion (K935 billion) Mpatamanga Hydro Power Project agreement with SN Power Invest (SN Power) of Norway and Electricitè De France SA (EDF SA) to boost the energy sector in the country.
This is in line with the country’s blueprint Malawi 2063, which advocates that the nation should have 1000 megawatts (mw) by the year 2023.
PPPC Chief Executive Officer Patrick Kabambe disclosed this when he appeared before the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament (Pac) on Wednesday in Lilongwe.
Kabambe said the investment would add 350mw to the national grid against the current generation capacity of 410mw.
He said this would be one of the biggest energy projects in the country.
“The energy sector in the country has been having challenges. We, as a nation, We are failing to attract investors especially in the mining sector as our current power grid cannot run the heavy machines in the industry.
“Our institution is mandated by the government to find investors that will help develop this nation. So, this project is one of them,” Kabambe said.
Pac Chairperson Shadrec Namalomba observed that the energy sector needed a boost.
He, however, warned that the institution had many projects on its plate which could make it impossible to start all of them.
“As far as the energy sector is concerned, the country is in a mess. We really need a quick boost if the nation is to move forward.
“However, when PPPC is doing its plans, it has to be realistic and prioritise only projects that are viable at the moment rather than having so many projects that will not materialise,” Namalomba said.
Information available on the PPPC website indicates that the project is expected to be completed by 2026.
It further indicates that 15 potential investors had registered their intention to participate in the project. However, at the closing date for the receipt of Request for Quotation (RFQ) proposals, only one proposal was received from the two firms.
SN Power was the specialist developer recruited by IFC to help in the co-development of the project.
It also says that the qualification proposal was evaluated by an evaluation team comprising officials from PPPC Secretariat, Department of Energy, Egenco, Escom, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Justice, and Ministry of Lands.
The submitted proposal from SN Power and EDF-SA covers planning, design, construction, financing, operations and management of hydro power project.
The experience covered both developed and emerging economies. The proposal qualified for the next stage in the process, which is the RFQ stage.
President Lazarus Chakwera set an ambitious plan to add 1000mw to the national grid by 2025.
Egenco recently indicated that it has lined up a number of projects aimed at increasing the country’s generation capacity including the Mpatamanga plant, extention of Wovwe power plant and a 20mw solar project in Salima.
Recently JCM Power launched solar power in Salima District to add 60mw to the national grid.