PPA signing signals progress towards commercial-scale solar power

27th Sep 2018

Blantyre, Malawi: JCM Matswani Solar Corp Limited signed a 20-year PPA with the Malawian national utility, Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi Limited (ESCOM) on September 13, 2018, to progress the 60MWAC Salima Solar project. Co-developed by InfraCo Africa, part of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG), a development fund managed by a subsidiary of JCM Power and Matswani Capital, Salima Solar will be among Malawi’s first commercial-scale solar photovoltaic plants.

JCM Power’s Head of Africa, Justin Woodward, said: “The PPA signing marks a key step in the collaboration between ourselves, InfraCo Africa, ESCOM and the Government of Malawi on the Salima Solar project and will enable us to secure financing for the construction phase. Malawi has significant solar potential and we are pleased to be a part of a project which is supporting efforts to diversify the country’s energy mix and increase access to clean, reliable power for homes and businesses.”

InfraCo Africa has committed US$2.6m to the development of Salima Solar and has to date leveraged US$320,000 in grant funding from its sister PIDG company, the Technical Assistance Facility (TAF), to support IFC compliant acquisition of the project site. The Environmental and Social Impact Assessment and technical studies are now complete. The project is expected to reach financial close in Q4 2018 and to begin delivering clean power to Malawi’s national grid in 2019.

Speaking at the signing, InfraCo Africa’s Head of East African Business Development, Bertrand Belben said: “We are delighted to be working with our partners to pioneer commercial-scale solar power in Malawi. As part of PIDG, InfraCo Africa seeks to alleviate poverty and promote economic development in sub-Saharan Africa. We do this by providing the early stage finance and expertise necessary to mobilise private sector investment into high-quality infrastructure projects like Salima Solar.”

The Government of Malawi recognises electricity as a key economic driver and is committed to diversifying the country’s energy mix. Alongside government efforts to attract Independent Power Producers to the country, projects like Salima Solar are expected to have a demonstration effect for future private sector involvement in Malawi’s energy sector.

“This PPA is a crucial step in our roadmap to ensure that our customers have access to quality, reliable and safe power. Malawi has an enormous potential for solar energy and we are excited to walk this roadmap with JCM Matswani Solar Corp Limited,” Dr. Thomson Mpinganjira ESCOM Chairperson said.

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