Mbeya Coal to Power Project

From Global Energy Monitor
This article is part of the CoalSwarm coverage of Tanzania and coal.

The Mbeya Coal to Power Project, previously known as the Rukwa Power Project, is a proposed 300-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station in Tanzania.


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

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In 2013 a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Ireland-based Kibo Mining and Korean government-owned Korea East West Power to participate in co-development of a coal mine: the Rukwa thermal coal deposit is in Mbeya Region. Plans also include a 300 to 350 MW mine-mouth power station, with a planned commissioning by 2018.[1]

Kibo Mining later changed its website to say joint venture negotiations were on-going with major energy companies to participate in co-development of a 250-300 MW mine-mouth power station at Rukwa,[2] suggesting the MOU with Korea East West Power fell through.

In April 2015 Kibo Mining said it had signed a development agreement for its Rukwa coal project with SEPCO of China. The Chinese firm would contribute up to US$3 million toward completing a feasibility study by October 2015, after which Kibo’s holding would be transferred into 85% ownership of a special purpose vehicle to develop the project. Financial closure will be led by South Africa’s Standard Bank.[3] Kibo plans to complete feasibility studies by 2015 and financial close by early 2016, with construction planned for the second half of 2016, and first power by 2019.[4]

In October 2015 Tractebel Engineering, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the French utility Engie, entered into an agreement with Kibo Mining to undertake a feasibility study on the proposed plant, despite Engie recently announcing that it would no longer build coal plants. Standard Bank is acting as financial adviser to the company.[5]

In May 2016 Kibo Mining completed its pre-feasibility study for the Mbeya coal project. Kibo has been in talks with the Tanzania Electric Supply Company (Tanesco) for a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for the plant.[6] On 31 May 2016 Kibo met with SEPCO III of China to initiate the EPC bid process for the Mbeya Power Plant.[7]

In November 2016, Kibo Mining announced that it had received an advanced draft of the integrated financial model for the project from its financial advisors ABSA/Barclays. The announcement described the project as 250-350 MW in size.[8] In December 2016, Kibo Mining announced that it had awarded the EPC contract for the construction of the plant to Chinese construction company SEPCOIII.[9]

In October 2017 Kibo Mining reported it had been awarded an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) certificate for its proposed Mbeya mine and a 300 MW mine-mouth plant.[10]

In October 2018, Kibo Mining submitted a formal tender qualification document (TQD) for the Mbeya coal to Power Project (MCPP), in line with the government’s new initiative regarding the development of independent power projects.[11]

In May of 2019, Tanzania Electric Supply Company (Tanesco) received the green light for the development of the Mbeya coal-to-power project (MCPP).[12]

Project Details

  • Sponsor: Kibo Mining
  • Parent company:
  • Location: Mbeya, Tanzania
  • Coordinates: -8.5, 33 (approximate)
  • Status: Permitted
  • Gross Capacity: 300 MW
  • Type: Subcritical
  • Start date:
  • Coal Type:
  • Coal Source: Mbeya coal mine, Rukwa coal deposit
  • Source of financing:

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