The Fufu hydropower project is located in the Northern Region of Malawi on South Rukuru river and has  a maximum gross head of 414.3 m and a maximum reservoir storage capacity of 138 Mm3, the energy generation of the Fufu project is 1128 GWh with 705 GWh of peak production. The design capacity of the high head hydroelectric power plants is 261 MW. The investment cost is estimated at USD 702 million and the project is planned to be implemented purely by the private sector with the construction period spanning for 5 years commencing in 2024 and to be fast-tracked depending on the availability of financing.   The project has the potential to increase the power generation capacity in the country at the same time diversifying electricity generation sources away from the Shire River. 

The project layout comprises the main following components: 

  • The dam, 114 m high above foundation implemented on the South Rukuru River in a narrow gorge area. 
  • A hydraulic adduction system to the power station composed of: 

                          i.          A water intake including a shaft valve 

                          ii.          A headrace tunnel 4305 m long 

                         iii.          A surge shaft  

                         iv.          A penstock approximately 1200 m long 

  • A tail race canal 34 m long with an outlet discharging into the South Rukuru River near the outlet of the river into Lake Malawi
  • The North Rumphi water transfer composed of: 

                         i.          A weir approximately 5 m high 

                        ii.          A water gallery transfer about 10 km long 

  • The construction of a new national road about 15 km long connecting the existing national road upstream and downstream of the reservoir. 

The following are the expected benefits in implementing the project:

  • Increased hydro-power production that will stabilize Malawian power system;
  • Cover the presently suppressed power demand;
  • Access to the financially attractive source of renewable energy;
  • Improve the operation of the downstream located plants (existing and planned): Hamilton Falls and Kapichira;
  • Reduce the flood peaks in the areas prone to floods downstream from the dam;
  • Cover the existing and future needs for peak capacity and energy on a long run;
  • Together with the downstream located plants at Shire River, represent one of key players on the regional power market (SAPP) for provision of peak power.