MALAWI – The Government of Malawi (GOM), IFC, Scatec and EDF have signed a binding commercial agreement to undertake the co-development of the Mpatamanga hydropower project.

The agreement, signed under Malawi’s Public-Private Partnership framework, concludes the selection process undertaken by the Government of Malawi to competitively select a private sector partner to finance, build, and operate the Mpatamanga hydropower plant.

The signing officially awards the role of project lead developer to a consortium composed of Scatec and EDF.

IFC worked closely with the Government of Malawi to support the early-stage project development and provided funding for activities that allowed the government to launch the competitive tender process.

Located on the Shire River, the 350-megawatt (MW) facility will be a first of its kind in Malawi.

The generation facility is composed of two plants – a 309 MW peaking plant and a 41 MW downstream plant.

The project is expected to contribute to reducing energy shortages and enhancing energy security in Malawi.

The 309 MW plant with its reservoir storage is designed to provide much-needed energy during peak demand hours of the day and overall grid stability with its ability to ramp up or down production to meet actual demand.

Scatec, and its venture partners British International Investment (BII) and Norfund, and EDF are majority shareholders in the project and will own 55 per cent of the project, split between them.

EDF will own 27.5 per cent, while Scatec has an ownership of 14 per cent, and the venture partners the remaining 13.5 per cent.

The Government of Malawi will own 30 per cent and IFC 15 per cent of the total project shareholding.

Hydropower can play a critical role in Africa’s renewable energy development. Mpatamanga will deliver electricity to approximately two million people and save 520,000 tons of CO2 emissions per year.

“The 350 MW Mpatamanga hydropower project will not only double the installed capacity of hydropower in Malawi but also improve power supply security, provide opportunities for increased renewable energy generation capacity in the country and contribute to controlling the flow of the Shire River downstream of the power plant,” said Minister of Energy in Malawi, Honourable Ibrahim Matola.

“The Government of Malawi is indebted to its partners in achieving this milestone, which is a major step in the development of this project.”

The country of Malawi will receive a significant investment into its power sector, which in turn will stand to benefit a major portion of the nation’s population.

“We look forward to reaching further development milestones for this project – and contributing to Africa’s renewable energy journey,” said Terje Pilskog, Scatec CEO.

“We are proud to contribute to the Mpatamanga project, which is a great opportunity to bring our technical expertise in hydropower and our strong environmental and social commitment to local communities and biodiversity.”

The signing of this partnership strengthens EDF’s position in Africa, a strategic region for our development.

The partners will work extensively with all stakeholders and support project implementation, building on EDF’s and Scatec’s strong ESG track record in the development of hydropower projects across the globe, in alignment with IFC’s environmental and social standards.

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