Kamwamba power station

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Kamwamba (Kam'mwamba) power station is a proposed 300-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station planned for the Kamwamba area in Zalewa, Malawi.


The map below shows Kamwamba, the proposed location for the plant.

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In 2012 China Gezhouba Group of China Energy Engineering Corporation said it planned to build a US$500 million, 1,000 megawatt thermal plant in Malawi.[1][2][3]

In 2013 an MoU was signed between the Malawi Government and the China Gezhouba Group Company for a power station of up to 1000 MW, but the first phase would be 300 MW. The plant will use about 400,000 tonnes of coal annually from Moatize in Mozambique. The coal will be transported by rail that is being constructed by Vale.[4][5]

In April 2015 it was reported that construction would begin once the US$600 million from the China Exim Bank was approved. The Malawi ministry plans to have the power plant operational by 2018.[6] In July 2015 it was reported that China Railways No. 3 Engineering Group would finance the power station and rail line, but no details are given.[7]

In December 2015 Finance and Economic Development Minister, Goodall Gondwe, signed a Memo of Understanding on behalf of the Malawi Government, while CGGC president Lv Zexiang signed on behalf of his company. Zexiang said that he hoped that construction could begin as early as the first months of 2016.[8]

In September 2017, the The Nation (Malawi) reported that the government of Malawi would own 85 percent of the power station, while China Gezhouba Group Company of China would own 15 percent of the power station. Vale of Brazil would provide the coal needed, over a 30 year contract period. The challenge at that time was that the agreements called for the government to put down US$104 million in "commitment money". However, the government had only US$12.4 million available, and had requested to pay the balance in installments.[9]

In April 2018 it was reported that construction was planned for the end of the year, and commissioning in 2021-2022.[10][11]

In September 2018 it was reported that Malawi had met all the conditions to receive a loan from the China ExIm Bank, and that CEEC will soon be on the ground to start implementing the project.[12]


In May 2014 the Export & Import (Exim) Bank of the People’s Republic of China granted a loan for the 300 MW project. The plant is to be built over 24 months at a cost of about $667-million.[13] The China Ex-Im Bank said it was still considering funding the additional 700 MW.[14]

According to an October 2016 report, Exim Bank Chairman Zhu Ying told a media conference for African journalists at Exim Bank headquarters in Beijing that the final approval of financing depended on the completion of the Power Purchase Agreement between Exim Bank and Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom).[15]

In January 2018 the Export and Import (Exim) Bank of China agreed to fund the project to the tune of US$667 million.[10]

Project Details

  • Sponsor: Government of Malawi (85%), Gezhouba Group (15%)
  • Parent company: Government of Malawi (85%), China Energy Engineering Corporation (15%)
  • Location: Kamwamba, Zalewa, Neno District, Malawi, Africa
  • Coordinates: -14.95,34.783333 (approximate)
  • Status: Phase I: Permitted; Phase II: Cancelled
  • Gross Capacity: Phase I: 300 MW (Units 1-6: 50 MW); Phase II: 700 MW
  • Type: Subcritical
  • Start date: 2021-2022 (Phase I)
  • Coal Type:
  • Coal Source: Moatize, Mozambique
  • Source of financing: Export & Import (Exim) Bank of the People’s Republic of China (US$667 million)

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