The Government of Malawi (the Government or GoM), through its Ministry of Energy, is in the processing of developing a 350 megawatt (MW) hydropower project (HPP) at Mpatamanga Gorge on the Shire River in Southern Malawi.

The Mpatamanga Hydropower Project (MHPP) with a Regulating Dam (RD) (the Project) will be located between the existing Tedzani and Kapichira hydropower plants about 50 km west of Blantyre. The Project is listed in the Southern African Development Community’s (SADC) Regional Infrastructure Development Master Plan (RIDMP) for the energy sector as part of the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) Plan. SADC and SAPP have prioritized the Project using SAPP agreed criteria, and the Mpatamanga Project falls within the third tier of projects to be implemented between 2015 and 2027.

At the national level, the proposed Mpatamanga Project is a flagship project of the Government to contribute to reducing energy shortages and enhancing energy security. According to the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) Action Agenda Report (May 2017), Malawi has more than 2,000 MW of hydropower potential with large hydro continuing to dominate Malawi’s installed capacity (75 percent of capacity) in the near term (business-as-usual scenario).

The proposed Mpatamanga Project is at the top of the priority list in the least cost generation expansion plan prepared under the World Bank-IDA supported Integrated Resource Plan and remains the first of the uncommitted projects recommended for financing support. However, given fiscal constraints, the Project cannot be funded entirely using public financing and the Government therefore decided to implement the Project as a Public-Private Partnership (PPP).  The GoM entered into a PPP Relationship Agreement with the World Bank’s investment arm International Corporation (IFC) and a consortium of Electricite de France (EDF) and SCATEC as the Strategic Sponsor. Subsequent to this Agreement, a Project Company called Mpatamanga Hydropower Project Limited (MPHL) with Government of Malawi through EGENCO, IFC and EDF and SCATEC consortium as shareholders was incorporated for project development.

The Project (including the Transmission power lines) will be located in Traditional Authorities (TA) Kunthembwe in Blantyre, Mlauli and Symon in Neno and Nsamala in Balaka districts.

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