Malawi State-owned utility the Electricity Generation Company (Egenco) has contracted Japan’s Mitsubishi Corporation to construct the 18 MW Tedzani IV power station, on the Shire river.
The Malawi government and the Japanese International Cooperation Agency will jointly finance the project, where construction will start in October, with completion expected three years later.
Egenco CEO William Liabunya says the Tedzani IV power station project is one of the projects the utility is planning to implement to meet the rising demand for electricity in Malawi.
“We know that 18 MW will not be enough to meet Malawi’s electricity needs. However, it will help offset the current shortfall,” he says.
Mitsubishi Corporation international economic cooperation acting GM Masato Kume says Japan is proud to be associated with the project, which will help Malawi address its power shortages and promote industrial development.
He adds: “We have a lot of experience in the Middle East, and this is our first project in Africa. Therefore, we want it to be successfully done to have a greater chance of being awarded contracts for similar projects on the continent,” he says. Egenco
is a new company established following the unbundling of the State-owned Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) into two entities to increase efficiency. It is responsible for electricity generation, while Escom continues to be responsible for transmission and distribution.
Egenco, with funding from the World Bank, is also conducting feasibility studies on the 320 MW Mpatamanga hydropower station project, on the Shire river.
Says Liabunya: “We are courting other possible financiers for this project, which will be unique in that it will have a very big dam that will enable us to store more water; we are currently not able to do that at our existing power stations.
“Through this power station, we will be able to store enough water for the power station and expand the downstream Kapichira Falls power station by 100 MW, while also supplying water for the Shire Valley Irrigation Project.”
Malawi largely depends on hydropower stations on the Shire river to meet its growing power demand, currently pegged at 400 MW, compared with installed capacity of 361 MW.