Conglomerate Press Corporation plc (PCL) is geared to set up a 50 megawatt (MW) solar power plant at Nkhoma in Lilongwe at an estimated cost of US$52.5 million (approx. K53 billion).
Press Corporation plc Chief Executive Officer, Ronald Mangani, said in an interview yesterday that, in April this year, PCL secured an approval from the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM), to connect to the 132KV busbar at its Nkhoma substation after the implementation of the Malawi-Mozambique 400KV transmission interconnection project.
“We are now in the process of setting up a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to conclude a power purchase agreement (PPA) with ESCOM, and proceed to implement the project as land has already been identified at Nkhoma in Lilongwe,” said Mangani adding that the acquisition of the land is at an advanced stage.
“We expect to finalize the setting up of the plant by the end of 2024. Operations should start in 2025,” added Mangani.
He described the project as critical because it will assist in addressing the power challenges that the country is facing.
“PCL will continue to identify and invest in projects that grow shareholders’ value such as this one, to add to its already strong and diversified portfolio,” assured Mangani.
Escom Public Relations Manager Kitty Chingota confirmed the development in an interview yesterday highlighting that the project will assist in the provision of adequate power in the country.
“Yes this is true. Press (PCL) was given an offer to connect at Nkhoma substation. Once connected, it will assist in the provision of adequate power in the country. Additionally, Press (PCL) is a Malawian company and this will encourage other Malawian companies to participate in the energy sector,” said Chingota.
PCL is a highly diversified conglomerate with interests in various sectors of the Malawi economy, including financial services, telecommunications, energy, property, agriculture and tourism.
Some of its subsidiary companies and associates are National Bank of Malawi (NBM) plc, Puma Energy Malawi Limited, PressCane Limited, Ethanol Company Limited, Telekom Networks Malawi (TNM) plc, Malawi Telecommunications Limited (MTL), Limbe Leaf tobacco Company Limited, Open Connect Limited, LifeCo Holdings Limited, Macsteel Malawi Limited, Press Properties Limited and Sunbird Tourism plc.