- A 37 MW AC solar project in Malawi has secured liquidity support for 10 years from ATI’s RLSF
- It is being developed by responsAbility and Phanes Group as one among the country’s 1st commercial scale independent solar power projects
- The project is expected to serve as a model for future private investment into the local solar sector
A 37 MW AC solar project coming up in Africa’s Malawi has secured support from the Africa Trade Insurance Agency (ATI) through its Regional Liquidity Support Facility (RLSF). It has committed to provide liquidity cover for the project for up to 10 years.
Touted as one among the country’s 1st commercial scale independent solar power projects, the Nkhotakota Solar Power Plant is set to come up in 2 phases of 21 MW AC and 16 MW AC. It was awarded under the country’s 1st competitive auction and is contracted to sell electricity generated under a 20-year power purchase agreement with Malawi’s national utility Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi Limited (ESCOM) in February 2019. The projecy achieved financial closure in December 2019 (see 46 MW Malawi Solar Project Achieves Financial Closure).
The project is being developed by the international consortium of Kenya based responsAbility Renewable Energy Holding (rAREH) and Phanes Group with the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) (previously Overseas Private Investment Corporation or OPIC), providing debt financing and Natsons as local development partner.
“Lack of power increased the challenges that Malawi faced during the COVID-19 pandemic. This project demonstrates that solar energy offers a viable path to bringing power to those communities which need it most, supporting social and economic development,” said Phanes Group CEO Martin Haupts. “Our goal is for this project to serve as a model for future private investment into the local solar sector.”
Solar power is being explored by the Malawian government as a sustainable power generation solution for stable and continuous supply in times when its hydropower capacity fails to supply electricity due to droughts leading to frequent power outages. Hydropower accounts for over 90% of the country’s energy mix, as per the ATI, and its total installed power generation capacity is around 362 MW AC.