Works on the 300megawatt Lake Turkana Wind Power Project (LTWP) have started in Marsabit County near Lake Turkana.
“All works have started on site, and foundation works for the turbines as well,” said Carlo Van Wageningen, LTWP director.
The first commissioning of the project will be in October 2016 when it will generate 90MW while full commissioning for 300MW will take place in July 2017.
The start of the project is a relief to investors and the government as the project has been delayed for over five years after the World Bank withdrew from guaranteeing the company’s borrowing. Thereafter, the African Development Bank (AfDB) stepped in, assembling a consortium of financiers.
In March last year, LTWP signed funding agreements totalling $858.12 million to revive the project. AfDB provided, through the government of Kenya, a $27.54 million guarantee against the risk of delays in the construction of the transmission line linking the project to the national grid.
The guarantee had been set as a condition by the financiers to the government and LTWP. The Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (Ketraco) is set to build a 428km 400kV transmission line between Loyangalani, where the project is located, and Suswa on the floor of the Rift Valley, to join the national grid. Kenya received $170.3 million in funding for this component of the project from Spain.
The Lake Turkana Wind Power consortium comprises KP&P Africa B.V. and Aldwych International as co-developers, Industrial Fund for Developing Countries (IFU), Wind Power A.S. (Vestas), Finnish Fund for Industrial Co-operation Ltd (Finnfund), and the Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries (Norfund).
LTWP is solely responsible for the financing, construction and operation of the wind farm. Aldwych will oversee the construction and operations of the power plant on behalf of LTWP while Vestas will provide the maintenance of the plant in contract with LTWP.
The power produced will be bought at a fixed price by Kenya Power over a 20-year period in accordance with the signed power purchase agreement.