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Prequalification launched for EPC contractors for Mpatamanga in Malawi

Mpatamanga Hydro Power Limited (MHPL) has launched an initial selection phase for Engineering, Procurement & Construction (EPC) contractors for the 361 MW Mpatamanga hydropower project on the river Shire in southern Malawi. Prequalification applications are invited by 26 January 2024 for one (or more) of three split EPC contracts - (i) civil (EPC1) package, (ii) electro-mechanical (EPC2) package, and/or (iii) transmission lines and substations (EPC3) package - that will be awarded via an international competitive tendering process based on an evaluation for best value of money.

The civil (EPC1) package will entail the design, management, procurement, and construction of the civil works as well as the design, supply and installation of the hydro-mechanical equipment. The electro-mechanical (EPC2) package will entail the design, manufacture, transport, installation, testing and commissioning of the complete electro-mechanical equipment as well as the main inlet valves and draft tube gates for the lower regulating dam powerhouse. The transmission lines and substations (EPC3) package will entail the design, manufacture, transport, installation, testing and commissioning of the associated transmission lines and new substations.

The Mpatamanga Hydro Power Project (MHPP) is to be financed, built, and operated on a Public-Private Partnership basis by a consortium of France’s state energy group EDF and Norwegian renewable energy developer Scatec with the Government of Malawi (GOM) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Bank Group’s private sector arm, under a joint development agreement signed in September 2022. EDF and Scatec, which jointly own a 55 per cent stake in MHPL, the special purpose vehicle set up to build and operate the project, are acting as the lead developer. Finance will be provided by the equity partners – using funds from the World Bank – as well as debt from commercial banks and development finance institutions, to be co-ordinated by the IFC. Mpatamanga will comprise two cascading generating stations – an upper main peaking plant with an installed capacity of 309 MW and a lower 52 MW regulating hydropower station, around 6 km downstream, complete with separate substations and two transmission lines. Both dams are designed with RCC gravity dams and gated spillways. The upper main dam will be around 50 m high with a crest length of 280 m. The lower regulating dam is currently designed to stand 35 m high. Water, required for energy production, will be conveyed from the upper reservoir to the main powerhouse via tunnels (and accompanying underground surge chambers), whereas the lower, smaller powerhouse utilizes only penstocks, where the generating station is positioned directly against the foot of the dam, in a close-coupled configuration. The project, which will more than double Malawi’s current installed capacity, is expected to help reduce energy shortages and enhance energy security. The main plant with its reservoir storage is designed to provide peaking power and overall grid stability with its ability to ramp production up or down to meet demand.

The commissioning date for the development is currently scheduled in January 2030.

The Specific Procurement Notices can be viewed via MHPL’s website and LinkedIn site at: and/or

The publication of these three Specific Procurement Notices follows an earlier General Procurement Notice in November 2023 and an online presentation on YouTube for viewing via the following link:

MHPL intends to qualify and select between four and five contractors for each of the three contracts with shortlisted applicants to be invited to bid in Q2 2024. Minimum qualification requirements and evaluation criteria are stated in the Initial Selection documents, which include eligibility aspects linked to financial capacity, strong CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility), and technical capability (among other key criteria). Initial Selection documents will be made available, in electronic format for free, in the employer’s virtual data room (VDR). Applicants can gain more information via the VDR, by sending an email:, and/or, depending on the contract of interest.