Ngaka power station

From Global Energy Monitor
(Redirected from Mbalawala power station)

The Ngaka power station is a proposed 270-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station in Tanzania.


The map below shows the location of the Ruvuma, Tanzania, but not the exact location of Ngaka power station.

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In August 2011, Australia's Intra Energy Corporation (IEC) said it planned to invest US$236 million in Tanzania's first privately funded coal mine and a coal-fired power plant. At the time, IEC's local unit in east Africa, Tancoal Energy, had spent US$23 million on exploration and initial development costs of the Mbalawala coal mine, in the south-west of Tanzania. Plans included a 120 MW power station at Mbalawala.[1]

In March 2012, IEC signed an MoU with Tanzania Electric Supply Company Limited (TANESCO) for the development of a 120 MW to 200 MW power station with the Tancoal coal mine as the coal supplier. Construction was originally planned to begin in 2014. The MoU was extended in March 2013 and changed to a 200 MW power station.[2]

In a 2013 investor presentation, Intra Energy said 200 MW of the power station was in design and sited near the Tancoal mine, and planned for operation in 2017. The company said it was in discussion with Tanzania for an additional 120 MW power station in the north of the country.[2] As of 2014, IEC described the power station on its website as stage 2 of its Ngaka coal project. Plans included a 200 MW coal-fired power station sited adjacent to the Tancoal mine, and a second power station of 120 MW proposed near the Malcoal mine in the country of Malawi.[3]

In March 2015, the Tanzania Minister for Energy and Minerals said plans were underway to construct a 600 MW coal plant to generate electricity from Ngaka Coal in Mbinga in phases, with the first 200 MW to be generated by 2019. The tender for the project was expected to be floated in June 2015, and IEC's Tancoal was invited to bid on the project.[4] In June 2015, the Energy Minister said potential investors had quoted expensive tariffs that were deemed inviable for the project. Operation was still planned for 2019.[5]

In November 2015, IEC signed an MoU with Sinohydro for a 200 MW coal plant at Ngaka, with the potential to increase it to 400 MW over time.[6]

In October 2016, Intra Energy signed a MoU with Sinohydro to develop a 2 x 135 MW coal plant at Ngaka. The two companies would form a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV). Under the agreement, Sinohydro was the major project shareholder of the SPV and would conceive, build, finance, and operate the plant. Tancoal Energy would provide coal, estimated at 1.2 million tonnes per year at its mine located 7 km from the plant.[7]

In August 2017, talks recommenced with SinoHydro regarding the letter from the Minister of Energy and Minerals to move ahead on the Ngaka Power Station project. It was agreed to renew the MOU and establish a joint venture vehicle once equities were established.[8]

In October 2018, Intra Energy said the company planned to submit Request for Qualification documents for the project to the Tanzania Electricity Supply Company (TANESCO), in line with the government’s new initiative regarding the development of independent power projects.[9]

In its half year results for December 2019, Intra Energy said, “IEC continues to investigate partnership arrangements for the development of a mine-mouth power station, however, the government has not given an approval for a coal-fired power station for southern Tanzania at this stage.”[10]

As of June 2021, there is no record of Intra Energy having submitted new Request for Qualification documents or receiving any government approvals. The project appears to be shelved.

Coal mine

The Ngaka Coalfields comprise the Mbalawala sub basin, the Ngaka Central Basin and the Mbuyura/Mkapa sub basin. The power station is the second stage of IEC's Ngaka coal project. Stage one involves coal mining in the Mbalawala region in 2011 for regional use. Stage 3 involves the export of approximately 1.5 million tonnes per year of thermal coal to potential markets in Kenya, Mauritius, and India.[11]

According to the IEC website in 2013, the Ngaka coal project involves opening up a surface open cast mine of 2 million tons per annum and setting up a 400 MW Thermal Power Station to be connected by a HV Transmission Line to the National Grid at Mufindi (300km). Intra Energy has major interests in the Ngaka Coalfields, the company states, "Tancoal has ownership over six coal bearing tenements in the Ngaka Coalfields. Extensive exploration has taken place over the last two years, augmented by geological surveying over several decades."[3]

Project Details

  • Sponsor: Unnamed special purpose vehicle
  • Parent company: Intra Energy Corporation, Sinohydro
  • Location: Ruvuma, Tanzania
  • Coordinates: -11, 36 (approximate)
  • Status: Shelved
  • Capacity: 2 x 135 MW[7]
  • Type: Subcritical
  • Start date:
  • Coal Type:
  • Coal Source: Ngaka Coal Mine
  • Source of financing: Sinohydro

Articles and resources


  1. "Australian firm to invest $116m in Tanzania coal," Reuters, Aug. 24, 2011.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Mbalawala Thermal Coal Project - Intra Energy," Investor presentation, March 18, 2013.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Ngaka Thermal Coal Project" Intra Energy, accessed March 14, 2014
  4. "Tanzania: Mbinga to Generate Electricity From Coal," All, March 15, 2015
  5. "High investor tariffs stall Ngaka electricity plant," Daily News, June 17, 2015
  6. "IEC signs MoU with Sinohydro," IEC, Nov 30, 2015
  7. 7.0 7.1 "IEC, Sinohydro signs deal to develop Ngaka coal-fired power station," Daily News, 27 October 2016
  8. "Intra Energy to export coal outside of Tanzanian client base," Mining Review, August 18, 2017
  9. "IEC September 2018 update," Intra Energy, October 11, 2018
  10. "Tancoal seeking govt approval to invest in coal fired power station," The Guardian, April 13, 2020
  11. "Tanzanian Projects," Intra Energy website, accessed January 2013.

Related articles

External resources

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