Malawi seeks bidders for 300 MW coal-fired plant

LILONGWE - Malawi will in the coming months invite bids from investors willing to build a 300 megawatts coal-fired power plant to meet its rising demand for electricity, Energy Minister Grain Malunga said on Sunday.

By (Reuters)

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Published: Sun 26 Dec 2010, 6:27 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 10:11 AM

Malawi has estimated coal reserves of 22 billion tonnes, according to the government, mainly located in the northern and southern parts of the country.

The reserves are largely unexploited, unlike in some of the other countries in the southern African region where coal is a major feedstock for power generation.

‘We are looking at constructing a coal fired plant to generate 300 MW of electricity...this is an alternative power source that would go a long way to generating more power to meet the growing demand in the country,’ Malunga told Reuters.

Malawi generates most of its electricity from hydro sources.

Its current installed capacity is 282.5 MW, below a demand of 344 MW. Only seven percent of Malawians have access to electricity, while the remaining 93 percent depend on firewood and charcoal for energy requirements.

The Economists Association of Malawi said that lack of reliable power supply is costing Malawi $215.6 million per year in lost industrial production.

Last year alone, Malawi had 63 days of power outages, the most out of 24 sub-Saharan countries, the energy ministry said.

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