• For its 46 MW solar power project in Malawi, Phanes Group has achieved financial closure having raised $67 million
  • The project is likely to see completion of the construction under phase one by March 2020
  • Power generated by the Nkhotakota solar power plant will be used by underserved communities in the country

UAE based solar energy developer Phanes Group has secured $67 million financing for its 46 MW solar power project in Malawi that the company won in the African nation’s first competitive tender in the power sector back in 2017 beating 20 other competitors. It has a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with national utility ESCOM, which was signed in February 2019.

Phanes Group developed the 46 MW project in collaboration with Swiss asset manager and co-developer for this project, responsAbility Investments and Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). It identifies Natsons as the local development partner. It is targeting construction completion of the first phase by March 2020.

Malawi hopes the 46 MW Nkhotakota project will help the country reduce its reliance on hydropower that commands 95% market share among all power generating technologies, a dangerous situation for any country that’s prone to droughts. Moreover, Malawi has an installed power generation capacity of 362 MW, with only 15% of population having access to electricity while the government is targeting increasing access to power for 30% of the population by 2030, elaborated Phanes Group. 

“This project will empower underserved communities in some of Africa’s poorest regions through access to affordable, reliable, and diversified energy,” said OPIC Vice President for Structured Finance and Insurance, Tracey Webb.

Till May 2019, ESCOM had signed 14 PPAs with four independent power producers (IPP) in a bid to diversify its power generation capacity and ensure energy security, including for a 20 MW floating solar power plant to be set up by Droege Energy of Germany (see Droege Energy For Malawi Floating PV Project). 

As per the Renewable Energy Capacity Statistics 2019 released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), till the end of 2018, Malawi had a cumulative installed renewable energy capacity of 398 MW, of which solar PV’s share was 23 MW.