MALAWI: Phanes Launches First Phase Of Nkhotakota Solar Power Project

The ground breaking ceremony was supervised over by Newton Kambala, the Malawian Minister of Energy. The solar power plant under construction will have a capacity of 21 MWp. This is the 1st phase of a solar PV project being carried out by the IPP Phanes Group and its partner responsAbility Renewable Energy Holding.

Together with the 1st unit, the 2nd phase of the project will increase the capacity of the solar PV plant to 37 MWp. This project is important for Malawi, as the country has an installed capacity of 400 MWp, according to the government. In this East African country, most of the electricity available in the national grid is generated by hydroelectric plants. With the drought experienced by all countries in the Eastern Africa sub-region, Malawi is not immune to disruptions in hydropower generation.

A Power Plant Guaranteed By the ACA

Therefore the authorities’ policy to diversify the country’s electricity mix. This policy is connected with an electrification strategy that relies heavily on solar energy. Newton Kambala, Malawi’s Minister of Energy, expects that the Nkhotakota solar power plant will be able to supply around 200,000 local households, with an annual electricity production of 7 million KWh.

Phanes Group will sell the electricity from the Nkhotakota solar plant to the state owned Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi under a 20-year power purchase agreement. “Given the levels of electricity shortage we are experiencing in Malawi, from a generation perspective, 21 MWp is significant as it will increase access to energy and improve the growth of the economy,” said Minister Newton Kambala at the ground-breaking ceremony of the Nkhotakota power plant in Central Province.

The implementation of the 2 phases of the project will require an investment of US$ 40 million. The developers of the project are supported by the US Development Finance Corporation. Phanes Group and responsAbility Renewable Energy Holding have also received a US$60 million guarantee from the Africa Trade Insurance Agency.