The Government of Malawi has signed a binding commercial agreement with IFC, Scatec and EDF to co-develop the Mpatamanga hydropower project in Malawi.

The agreement concludes the Malawi government’s selection process and officially recognises the consortium of Scatec and EDF as the lead developer of the 350MW plant.

It was signed under Malawi’s Public-Private Partnership framework and requires IFC, Scatec and EDF to finance, build and operate the hydropower plant.

Located on the Shire River, the Mpatamanga hydropower project is said to be the first project of its kind in Malawi.

It features a 309MW peaking plant and a downstream plant with 41MW of capacity, as well as reservoir storage.

The facility is expected to provide much-needed energy during peak demand hours.

Malawi Energy Minister Ibrahim Matola said: “The 350MW Mpatamanga Hydropower Project will not only double the installed capacity of hydropower in Malawi, but also improve the power supply security, provide opportunities for increased renewable energy generation capacity in the country and contribute to the controlling of the flow of the Shire River downstream the power plant.

“The Government of Malawi is indebted to its Partners in achieving this milestone, which is a major step in the development of this Project.”

The government will own a 30% stake in the Mpatamanga hydropower project, while IFC will hold a 15% stake.

Scatec will hold a 55% stake in the project together with Norfund, EDF and British International Investment.

Scatec CEO Terje Pilskog said: “This is a significant development in the realisation of the Mpatamanga project.

“We are excited to build on our hydro portfolio in Africa – and are proud to have finalised development plans alongside our partners.

“We look forward to reaching further development milestones for this project – and contributing to Africa’s renewable energy journey.”