South African owned, London listed, Ncondezi Energy Ltd expects to start construction of a 300MW Coal-Fired Plant in Mozambique by the third quarter of 2022.
Financial Close for the project, located in the coal-rich Tete District in the north of the country, is targeted for H1 2022, with 36 months planned construction, meaning that the plant should be up and running by mid-2025.
The company is currently negotiating to exclusively supply power to Electricity of Mozambique (EDM), the Mozambican power utility. But it is looking, down the road, at the regional transmission hub to the country’s Northern Grid, with direct connections into South Africa and Zimbabwe and potential expansion plans into Malawi and Zambia, for which line route optimization is currently underway.
The contract for Engineering, Procurement, and Construction(EPC) of the power plant was signed with China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) at a virtual signing ceremony on September 9, 2021. The EPC contract confirms CMEC as the main contractor to provide design, engineering, manufacturing, procurement, construction, erection, installation, and commissioning of the Ncondezi 2x150MW coal-fired power station on an EPC turnkey basis. The contract is valid for three years and subject to standard conditions being met before construction can start, including the achievement of Financing Close.
The next phases of the project milestones are to finalize project tariff, finalize Power Purchase Agreement with EDM, finalize Power Concession Agreement with Mozambique Government, and then move to Financing Close.
The Chinese are heavily committed to this. As far back as July 2019, the project promoter had signed a Joint Development Agreement (JDA) with CMEC as EPC and O&M Contractor and the American giant General Electric (GE) as the main technology provider for co-development, construction, and operation.
In December 2019, Ncondezi Ltd received indicative debt terms from the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC). In January 2020, it received a Letter of Interest from China Export & Credit Insurance Corporation (Sinosure) and in Aug 2020, received Shareholders Agreement Term sheet confirming CMEC’s intention as lead investor for 60% of the equity investment at financial close.
“COVID-19 lockdowns and increasing scrutiny on the rationale for new fossil fuel power generation have presented added challenges this year, however, the company believes that the project is sufficiently advanced and has the necessary support to effectively navigate them and unlock value through the delivery of key milestones before year-end,” says Hanno Pengilly, Ncondezi’s Chief Executive Officer.