$250m for Lake Turkana wind power project

Saturday June 14 2014

By KENNEDY SENELWA Special Correspondent

The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) has approved a $250-million loan for a 300MW power plant in northern Kenya.

Funding agreements for the $870-million Lake Turkana Wind Power Project (LTWP) were signed in March.

The board of OPIC, an agency of the US government, on May 29 approved the $250-million loan for development, construction, commissioning and operation of the wind farm, said corporate secretary Connie Downs.

Norway-based DNV GL is providing the Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (Ketraco) technical expertise to build 426km of overhead cables to transfer 300MW from the Lake Turkana Wind Power plant. The transmission line is expected to cost about $191.5 million.

“Our wind farm construction can start after Ketraco’s transmission line has begun,” LTWP chairman Carlo Van Wageningen said.

He said the first 50MW of the Lake Turkana Wind Power Project will be online 27 months after construction has begun, while the entire wind farm will be operational in 32 months. 

Power Africa Initiative of the US provided technical advice for the project.

DNV chief executive David Walker said electricity that will be generated at LTWP will be fed into the national grid at Suswa.

“The 400kV transmission line will be an important part of the country’s electricity generation infrastructure, allowing 300MW of LTWP and planned future geothermal plants to deliver low cost renewable power,” he said.

LTWP has signed a 20-year power purchase agreement with Kenya Power, the electricity distributor.

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