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 May 31, 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]

In September 2020, the Mbeya Coal Mine was recommended for grant of a Special Mining License from the Mining Commission of Tanzania.[13]

As of June 2021, Kibo Energy's website reports the following: "The project suffered a set-back in 2019 due to non-qualification to participate in a Tanzanian Government PPA tender process, a process which to date has not yet been completed reflecting a more hostile change in the Tanzanian Government’s policy towards foreign investment and its support of private energy projects. With the recent change of President in Tanzania and initial indications of a more favourable energy project development policy on the horizon, the Company [is] more confident that it can re-engage with all stakeholders in Tanzania to progress the MCPP and monetise its coal asset in the country." In addition, Kibo Energy notes the power station has a long term scalability of approximately 1000 MW.[14]


In December 2016, a financing agreement for the project was closed. US$594 million in loans from unnamed sources was provided. US$255 million in equity was provided by Shangdong Electric Power Corporation III and Kibo.[15] ABSA Bank serves as Kibo Energy's financial adviser on on this project, replacing Standard Bank in September 2016.[16]

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: US$594 million in debt from unnamed sources; US$255 million in equity from Shangdong Electric Power Corporation III and Kibo[15]

Articles and resources


  1. "Rukwa (Coal)," Kibo Mining, accessed August 2014.
  2. "Rukwa (Coal)," Kibo Mining, accessed March 2015
  3. Philip Whiterow, "UPDATE - Kibo Mining teams up with Chinese giant on Rukwa coal to power plant," Proactive Investors, April 20 2015
  4. "Coal-to-power DFS to be completed by year-end," Mining Weekly, Oct 9, 2015
  5. "Kibo appoints Tractebel to conduct Mbeya Coal to Power Project Power Feasibility Study," Kibo Mining, 09 November 2015
  6. "Kibo Mining completes review of feasibility study for Mbeya coal project," Kibo Mining, May 11, 2016
  7. "Mbeya Coal to Power Project Commences with Formal EPC Bid Process for Mbeya Power Plant and Mbeya Coal Mine," Kibo Mining, 03 June 2016
  8. "Kibo Completes Integrated Financial Model for Mbeya Coal to Power Project," Kibo Mining press release, 30 November 2016
  9. "Kibo Finalizes and Awards EPC Contract for MCPP Power Plant to SEPCO III," Kibo Mining press release, 19 December 2016
  10. "MCPP granted ESIA Certification," Kibo Mining, 27 October 2017
  11. "Kibo submits TQD for Mbeya coal to power project in Tanzania," Power Technology, Oct 19, 2018
  12. "Tanzania’s Mbeya coal to power project receives greenlight" Construction Review Online, May 7, 2019
  13. "Mbeya Coal to Power Project recommended for Special Mining Licence in Tanzania | Supply Chain & Operations | Mining Global". www.miningglobal.com. 2020-09-27. Retrieved 2020-11-10.
  14. "Mbeya Coal to Power Project (MCPP)," Kibo Energy PLC, accessed June 3, 2021
  15. 15.0 15.1 "Preview of Mbeya Coal-Fired Power Plant | Transaction | IJGlobal". ijglobal.com. Retrieved 2020-12-04.
  16. "Mining rights for Kibo Energy's Tanzanian coal-fired IPP | News | IJGlobal". ijglobal.com. Retrieved 2020-12-04.

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External resources

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