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UK’s GHE to establish US$300m solar project

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Greenheart Energy (UK) Limited (GHE) has pledged to invest over US$300 million in Malawi’s energy sector and the investment will include the establishment of three solar power plants, one for each region of the country.

GHE expressed interest to enter the Malawi market during last year’s Africa Global Summit which was held in London in December and a Memorandum of Understanding between the government and the company was signed on January 29, 2016.

And speaking during an energy workshop the company organised in Lilongwe, GHE Executive Chairman, Mike Eyre, disclosed that they had secured funding in excess of US$300 million through the UK Export Finance which will be used to finance the Malawi solar project.

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Eyre said there are plans to build a 30 megawatt solar power generator in Blantyre, a 30 megawatt plant in Lilongwe and a 25 megawatt plant in Mzuzu.

“The advantage of this type of hybrid power generation technology is that it uses lower cost solar for base generation integrated with high efficiency thermal power to provide power all the time. The power plant design will incorporate grid stability and demand side management technologies which will provide general improvements for the whole of the Malawi power system,” said Eyre.

He said GHE is currently at pre-feasibility stage and will shortly be embarking on the production of a fully-fledged bankable feasibility study which will take 15 months.

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“The technology, in very basic terms, works by using solar power in the day time and Rolls Royce gensets at night. This means power is available24 hours per day. The costs of producing the energy are,” he said.

Eyre further said GHE also manufactures Solapacs which are containerised solar generation plants for rural areas, and can power water irrigation projects and rural development.

The government says it has signed 27 memoranda of understanding with Independent Power Producers who wish to invest in Malawi’s energy sector.

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