Mbeya Coal to Power Project

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Mbeya Coal to Power Project is a cancelled power station in Mbeya, Tanzania. It is also known as Rukwa Power Project, MCPP.


Table 1: Project-level location details

Plant name Location Coordinates (WGS 84)
Mbeya Coal to Power Project Mbeya, Tanzania -8.5, 33.0 (approximate)

The map below shows the approximate location of the power station.

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Project Details

Table 2: Unit-level details

Unit name Status Fuel(s) Capacity (MW) Technology Start year Retired year
Unit 1 cancelled coal - unknown 300 subcritical

Table 3: Unit-level ownership and operator details

Unit name Owner
Unit 1 Kibo Mining [100.0%]

Project-level coal details

  • Coal source(s): Rukwa coal deposit


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]

In June 2021, Kibo Energy's website reported 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 noted the power station had a long term scalability of approximately 1000 MW.[14]

Disposal plans underway

In Kibo Energy's "Half-Year Results to 30 June 2021," the Chairman's Statement described a pivot in strategy:[15]

"Following a shift in international climate policies we recently announced a significant pivot in our strategy. We have decided to focus on the acquisition and development of a portfolio of sustainable, renewable energy assets and dispose of, or reposition, our fossil fuel utility projects. (...) It has become increasingly apparent that the development and funding of large-scale coal – fired utility projects such as our MCPP, Benga and Mabesekwa Projects, is becoming increasingly challenging and especially for small companies like Kibo. This does not change our view that our focus should remain on the development of sustainable energy opportunities. It is in this context that Kibo has decided to refocus on smaller scale renewable energy projects, initially in countries such as the UK and South Africa, where the market opportunities, government support and technical innovation are rapidly evolving."
"(...) we have developed significant inherent value in our large-scale utility projects over the last few years supported by our ownership interests in two large coal deposits (MCPP and Mabesekwa). We are committed to structuring our disposal plans for these projects to ensure that our shareholders retain the benefit of any future upside potential from the development of these projects. Advisers have been engaged in order to retain maximum value in the projects for Kibo whilst making them attractive for acquisition, funding and construction by potential purchasers."

In June 2022, the website's project details page simply listed "Subject to Disposal Procedure."[16] The company's 2021 Q4 report does describe the specs of the project, and it could potentially be revived under new ownership. This includes TANESCO's approval to develop plant for the export power market.[17]


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.[18] ABSA Bank started serving as Kibo Energy's financial adviser on the project, replacing Standard Bank in September 2016.[19][18] It is not known whether any amounts have been disbursed and whether the loan is still effective.

Potential additional phases

According to 2018 reporting, Kibo was planning to establish a further 300 to 400 MW power plant in a second phase, and an additional 300 MW power plant in a third phase, to bring the MCPP’s total energy generation capacity to 1,000 MW.[20]

Plans replaced with biomass

In November 2022, Kibo signed a new memorandum of understanding with TANESCO. The terms included a power purchase agreement of just 300 MW. In addition, the project would be fired with biomass rather than coal.[21]

Articles and Resources


  1. "Rukwa (Coal)," Kibo Mining, accessed August 2014
  2. "Rukwa (Coal)," Kibo Mining, accessed March 2015
  3. "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, October 9, 2015
  5. "Kibo appoints Tractebel to conduct Mbeya Coal to Power Project Power Feasibility Study," Kibo Mining, November 9, 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, June 3, 2016
  8. "Kibo Completes Integrated Financial Model for Mbeya Coal to Power Project," Kibo Mining press release, November 30, 2016
  9. "Kibo Finalizes and Awards EPC Contract for MCPP Power Plant to SEPCO III," Kibo Mining press release, December 19, 2016
  10. "MCPP granted ESIA Certification," Kibo Mining, October 27, 2017
  11. "Kibo submits TQD for Mbeya coal to power project in Tanzania," Power Technology, October 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," Mining Global, September 27, 2020
  14. "Mbeya Coal to Power Project (MCPP)," Kibo Energy PLC, accessed June 3, 2021
  15. "Unaudited Interim results for the six months ended 30 June 2021," Kibo Energy PLC, September 24, 2021
  16. "Subject to Disposal Procedure: Mbeya Coal to Power Project (“MCPP”)," Kibo Energy PLC, accessed December 2021
  17. [https://kibo.energy/wp-content/uploads/Kibo-Corp-Pres-Q4-2021-1.pdf "Working towards Zero-Sum Sustainability: Q4 2021,"] Kibo Energy PLC, 2021
  18. 18.0 18.1 "Preview of Mbeya Coal-Fired Power Plant," IJGlobal, accessed December 4, 2020
  19. "Mining rights for Kibo Energy's Tanzanian coal-fired IPP," IJGlobal, accessed December 4, 2020
  20. "Kibo Mining repositions as an African energy company," Mining Review, April 24, 2018
  21. "Kibo Energy revives its Mbeya power project and signs a PPA (Tanzania)," Enerdata, November 25, 2022

Additional data

To access additional data, including an interactive map of coal-fired power stations, a downloadable dataset, and summary data, please visit the Global Coal Plant Tracker on the Global Energy Monitor website.