As Malawi looks to increase its energy output, the Ministry of Energy has announced plans to build a 300 MW coal-fired power plant at the Kammwamba area in Zalewa.
According to Joseph Kalowekamo, a public relations officer for the Ministry of Energy, the government plans “to construct a coal-fired power plant along Zalewa road that is expected to add at least 300 MW power to the current grid. The plant will be designed to have a potential to increase generation capacity of up to 1000 MW in future.”
Kalowekamo said that building the plant on the Zalewa road would allow the plant to take advantage of the nearby railway line. This would make transportation of coal to the plant much easier, he said.
Because of the plant’s location, coal will be sourced from the Moatize coalfields in Mozambique.
"For the first time we shall be using coal from (Moatize) Mozambique to generate power," said Kalowekamo in an interview with the Malawi News Agency (Mana).
The Malawi Government will partner the Electricity Supply Corp. of Malawi (ESCOM) in operating the power plant.
Kaolwekamo said: “This is government project and because of that, power generated from the plant shall be connected to Escom transformers for transmission and in turn, the country's sole power utility company shall be paying a tariff because it would be like the company is buying power from the government."
Preparations towards the construction of the power plant are underway, according to the Ministry of Energy. A feasibility study for the project has already been completed.
"This project is expected to run for two to three years and as of now all things including the submission of feasibility study report has already been sent to the ministry," said Kalowekamo.
The Malawi Government could look to receive funding from China, according to the Ministry of Energy.
Kalowekamo said that the government was currently in the process of soliciting funds from import and export banks of China for the project.
"For the whole project to be completed it requires US$ 600 million, so we applied for a loan from the Import and Export Bank of China and we hope they are still considering our application and once this materialises the work will commence," Kalowekamo assured.
Edited from various sources by Sam Dodson
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