Kenya wind farm to start by april

Work on the 617 million euro ($873.7 million) Lake Turkana Wind Power (LTWP) project was initially expected to have started by last month.

Carlo Van Wageningen, chairman of LTWP, said its financiers were going through the due diligence process, which was expected to culminate in finalizing the funding.

The LTWP wind farm is expected to start production after 2013. It involves building a wind farm within Loiyangalani, a remote region in the northwest part of the country and near the Lake Turkana basin.

Van Wageningen said the World Bank is one of the project’s guarantors on behalf of the Kenyan government and that the bank required the project to undergo an environmental impact assessment study.

He said the study was complete and was posted on the World Bank Web site from November 15 for a statutory 120 days for the public to comment and would thereafter be taken before the bank’s board for approval.

LTWP is a subsidiary of KP&P, a Dutch firm which sets up wind energy projects. The Kenyan venture will be the biggest in the country, consisting of 365 wind turbines, each with a capacity of 850 kilowatts.

LTWP has an agreement with Denmark’s Vestas Wind Systems to supply 365 Vestas V52 wind turbines.

LTWP will transmit its power to the national grid through a 428 km (266 mile) overhead line it will build for the government and offload the electricity to the state-run Kenya Power Company.