The Kenyan government has endorsed the Lake Turkana Wind Power (LTWP), Africa’s largest wind farm project which is set to kick off in northeastern region.
Kenya’s finance ministry Permanent Secretary Joseph Kinyua has signed the Letter of Support with the LTWP, enshrining the government’s commitment to support the wind power project which will now enable the project to enter the final phase of financing.
“The LTWP project has been under private development since 2005 and that is in itself a remarkable testimony to the stability and soundness of the Kenyan electricity sector as well as the environment for Independent Power Producer (IPP),” said Carlo Van Wageningen, Chairman, and LTWP said in a statement issued in Nairobi on Friday.
The 825 million U.S. dollar project whose construction will take 32 month will create approximately 2 500 jobs followed by over 200 full time jobs mainly targeting local Kenyans throughout the period of operations.
The wind project, which will be the largest single private investment in Kenya’s history, has the additional backing from the African Development Bank, Kenya Power and Vision 2030.
Kenya’s Least Cost Development Power Plan shows that LTWP wind power will be one of the least cost power generation options available in the country along with geothermal power and at even less cost than the feed in tariff for other wind projects set at 0. 12 dollars /kwh.
The project will replace the need for Kenya to spend approximately 120 million euros per year on importing fuel.
“We are delighted that this project will move forward with the continued support of the Government of Kenya, Kenya Power, the African Development Bank, and the numerous other partners,” Van Wageningen said.
The LTWP consortium comprising of Aldwych International, KP&P Africa, Industrial Fund for Developing Countries (IFU), Wind Power A.S. (Vestas) and Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries (Norfund) are now confident that they will start construction later this year.
The project aims to provide 300 MW of reliable, low cost wind power to the Kenya national grid, equivalent to approximately 20 percent of the current installed electricity generating capacity.
The wind farm site, covering 40,000 acres (162 square km), is located in Loyangalani District, Marsabit West County, in north- eastern Kenya.
“In addition to providing reliable cost effective power the project will bring numerous macroeconomic, community and social benefits for the region, which is one of the poorest regions in Kenya,” Van Wageningen said.
The Project will comprise 365 wind turbines (each with a capacity of 850 kw), the associated overhead electric grid collection system and a high voltage substation.
The Project also includes upgrading of the existing road from Laisamis to the wind farm site, which is partly financed by the Dutch Government and is a distance of approximately 204 km.
The Project will also build an access road network in and around the site for construction, operations and maintenance.
The Kenya Electricity Transmission Company Ltd (Ketraco), with concessional funding from the Spanish Government, is constructing a double circuit 400 kv, 428 km transmission line to deliver the LTWP electricity along with power from other future plants to the national grid.