The 60 MW Salima Solar PV plant, being one of the most advanced projects, will be instrumental for Malawi’s underdeveloped electricity sector which has an installed generation capacity of around 439 MW. Over 90% of this capacity comes from hydro power plants on the Shire River in the southern region; this heavy reliance on hydro is often constrained by drought and low water levels. Moving forward, there is high potential for solar and new hydro technologies to enter into the power market, thanks to reforms by the Government that have led to the establishment of a viable electricity market for private sector participation in generation expansion.
Salima Solar PV plant is due to start operations in August 2021. It was developed by JCM Matswani Solar Corp Limited, a Malawian Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) owned by the Canadian Independent Power Producer (IPP) JCM Power and InfraCo Africa Limited; the latter is part of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG). Construction equity was provided by JCM Power, the Dutch Development Bank FMO, and InfraCo Africa Limited. This will be the first solar PV in Malawi to connect to the grid. The energy generated, at an estimated annual average of 154 GWh, will be sold exclusively to the Malawian utility, ESCOM, under a 20 year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). ATI, through RLSF, will provide cover for an amount of USD 4.4 million against the risk of delayed payment by ESCOM; the RLSF policy will be for an initial tenor of up to ten (10) years. The liquidity cover being provided via RLSF will enable up to USD 78 million of total project financing.
Malawi’s energy sector has recently gone through sector restructuring efforts with the goal of increasing the availability of reliable electricity supply in the country. This includes the unbundling of ESCOM and the establishment of the Electricity Generation Company of Malawi (EGENCO). More recently, ESCOM has been further unbundled with the introduction of Power Market Limited (PML), which will become the Single Buyer in the energy sector – taking over PPAs signed between ESCOM and IPPs. Additional restructuring of Malawi’s power market is underway, with strong investor interest and political will for IPPs to enter the market.
ATI’s CEO, Manuel Moses, noted “The Government of Malawi views private investment as critical to achieving its goals for the power sector. This is evidenced by ESCOM’s recent positive track record in meeting its payment obligations to Malawi’s only operational IPP in a timely manner as recorded by ATI’s Transparency Tool. We remain confident that ESCOM’s payments to JCM Matswani will follow the same trend. In addition to the two transactions that we have supported under RLSF, we look forward to providing similar support to eligible renewable energy IPPs in Malawi and indeed across the rest of the African continent.”
Quote from JCM Power
JCM Power’s Country Director, Phylip Leferink noted, “JCM Power is excited to complete construction and enter into operations of the first utility scale solar PV Plant in Malawi in August 2021. The support of ATI played an important role in enhancing the project’s bankability and contributed to JCM’s focus to develop high-quality, innovative and state of the art projects across Sub-Saharan Africa. The Salima Solar project is positively changing Malawi’s energy landscape whereby JCM is firmly committed to continue to play a pivotal role in further developing the country’s energy sector.”
InfraCo Africa’s Head of Asset Management, Connor Dawson said, “Salima Solar will be Malawi’s first grid-connected solar PV plant. The revolving liquidity guarantee provided by ATI, under its Regional Liquidity Support Facility, will support Salima Solar, ensuring that it can deliver reliable access to clean electricity; powering future economic growth.”Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI).
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About The African Trade Insurance Agency:
ATI was founded in 2001 by African States to cover trade and investment risks of companies doing business in Africa. ATI predominantly provides Political Risk, Credit Insurance and, Surety Insurance. In 2020, ATI closed the year with a gross exposure of US$6.3 billion and a net profit of US$39.4 million, owing to a strong demand for ATI’s insurance solutions from the international financial sector and from African governments. Since inception, ATI has supported US$66 billion worth of investments and trade into Africa. For over a decade, ATI has maintained an ‘A/Stable’ rating for Financial Strength and Counterparty Credit by Standard&Poor’s, and in 2019, ATI obtained an A3/Stable rating from Moody’s.
About The Regional Liquidity Support Facility (RLSF):
ATI and the German Development Bank, KfW, with financing from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), launched the RLSF in 2017. The Facility was created to help tackle climate change and attract investments by supporting renewable energy projects in ATI’s member countries. RLSF has an initial capacity of EUR 63.2 million and it supports small and mid-scale renewable energy projects with an installed capacity of up to 50 MW (and in exceptional cases up to 100 MW) by protecting the developers against the risk of delayed payments by public off-takers; in turn improving project bankability and ensuring that more projects reach financial close. https://bit.ly/3B2Fi9n
About JCM Power:
JCM Power is an independent power producer (IPP) dedicated to accelerating social, economic and environmental sustainability in growth markets through the development, construction and operation of renewable energy infrastructure. Our driving vision is to advance the clean energy age. For more information please visit: www.JCMPower.ca.
About The Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG):
PIDG is an innovative infrastructure development and finance organisation which encourages and mobilises private investment in pioneering infrastructure in the frontier markets of sub-Saharan Africa and south and south-east Asia to promote economic development and combat poverty. PIDG delivers its ambition in line with its values of opportunity, accountability, safety, integrity and impact. Since 2002, PIDG has supported 157 infrastructure projects to financial close which provided an estimated 209 million people with access to new or improved infrastructure. PIDG is funded by six governments (the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Australia, Sweden, Germany) and the IFC. For more information please visit: www.PIDG.org.
About InfraCo Africa:
InfraCo Africa is part of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG). InfraCo Africa seeks to alleviate poverty by mobilising private investment into high-quality infrastructure projects in sub-Saharan Africa’s poorest countries. It addresses the risks and costs of early-stage project development: funding teams of experienced developers and providing risk capital to those projects which need the financial commitment and leverage that InfraCo Africa can bring. InfraCo Africa is funded by the governments of the United Kingdom (through FCDO), the Netherlands (through DGIS) and Switzerland (through SECO). For more information please visit: www.InfraCoAfrica.com.
© Press Release 2021