Electricity Generation Company (Malawi) Limited (EGENCO) has chosen CHINT Electrics Co., Ltd to construct the first phase of the solar photovoltaic plant in the Salima district, located in the Central Region of Malawi.
The China-based global energy solution provider has been selected in a tender process launched in 2019 and given the charge to construct the 10 MW solar power plant, which is the first phase of a scalable 20 MW solar power plant.
According to EGENCO, the project is funded by its own resources at a total cost of $17 million (~ MWK15 billion). EGENCO has already acquired 110 hectares of land at Nanjoka in Salima district for future scaling up of the plant that may reach up to 50MW.
The solar power plant will be implemented with battery storage systems for which a different contract will be procured.
EGENCO’s Chief Executive Officer, William Liabunya, said “We have to look to the future and ensure that power supply is sustainable to the nation. We are venturing into alternative sources of power such as solar in order to continue improving power generation in the country”.
The project is part of EGENCO’s strategy to reduce the country’s dependence on hydropower and diversify its electricity mix. It also intends to improve its own power generation mix to 76% hydro-based from the current 95% hydro-based, over the next five years.
The Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Energy, Patrick Matanda, said, “We made it a policy position to diversify sources of power to the country due to recent shortages of water. We are excited that we are now looking at solar when the country has largely been reliant on hydropower”.
Representative of CHINT Group, Dennis Chu Liang assured to complete the project in time sighting their long experience in solar power development in Asia, Europe, and several African countries.
The initial phase may take up to 24 months, with the first 6 months’ time for the feasibility study and the rest for design, supply, installation, and commissioning of the 10 MW solar power plant.
The project will become EGENCO’s biggest solar power plant in Malawi, following the 1.3 MW Likoma and Chizumulu solar-diesel hybrid power plant that was commissioned last year.