Solar tender launched for up to 40 MW in Malawi

Malawi-based independent power producer, JCM Matswani Solar Corp Limited has issued a Request for Expression of Interest, to select EPC contractors for a large-scale PV project it is planning to develop in the Salima District of central Malawi.

JCM Matswani is a special purpose vehicle owned by U.K. provider of project development and funding services for infrastructure projects in sub-Saharan Africa, InfraCo Africa Limited; Canadian-based private equity firm, JCM Power; and South Africa’s Matswani Capital (PTY) Limited.

JCM Power and InfraCo Africa will provide the development capital to bring the project to financial close, while Matswani Capital, through a separate services agreement, will provide development services to the ProjectCo in Malawi, the tender’s document states.

According to the document, the project may also have a power range of between 20 MW and 40 MW. Interested contractors will have to submit their bids by March 2, 2018.

The project, which will sell power to local utility, ESCOM under a 20-year PPA, was selected in a public tender held by Malawi’s government between December 2016 and May 2017.

In February 2017, ESCOM announced a plan to add 70 MW of solar capacity to the national grid through the use of  power supply provided by independent power producers. This plan, the company said at the time, is one of the short-term mitigation measures it is implementing against the prevailing power crisis.

ESCOM stressed it was not able to generate power at maximum capacity, due to dwindling water levels in Lake Malawi.

“Four sites in Salima, Nkhotakota, Lilongwe and Golomoti have been selected for the IPPs to set up and establish power stations that will supply power to ESCOM. These power stations are expected to be complete and fully operational by October 2018,” ESCOM said.