NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 9 – Leading civil and engineering company Civicon has won a Sh3.2 billion ($36 million) contract to rehabilitate 204 kilometers of access roads for the Lake Turkana Wind Power Project (LTWP) and the construction of an on-site road network spanning 109 kilometers.
The upgrading of the road network to gravel standard is aimed at opening up the area for the delivery of the 365 Vestas Wind Turbines and the Siemens Transformers when the construction of Africa’s largest wind power project officially begins.
The contract is expected to last 15 months and it has been approved by Kenya National Highway Authority (KeNHa), Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KeRRa) and the County Council of Marsabit.
All environmental and social impact assessments have been approved by the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) and done to Equator Principles (EPs), which are a voluntary set of standards for determining, assessing and managing social and environmental risk in project financing.
“We are delighted to be part of the largest single private investment in Kenya,” Project Manager John Latham said.
“Ultimately, transportation of goods and services in the area will also receive a major boost and in particular the upgraded road will traverse challenging areas and the route will be all weather,” he explained.
In an effort to create value for skilled unemployed people, the project is intending to generate more than 500 jobs and Civicon is planning to allocate 150-200 jobs to the local community, while the rest will be recruited countrywide during the upgrade.
“The Northern Kenya area will finally join the rest of the country with the completion of this project, as the upgraded road will open up trade from Northern Kenya, make Marsabit County accessible and allow for “other” potential investors to set up new businesses,” he said.
“The security in the region covered by this road network will drastically improve because local authorities will now be able to easily access areas which are un-accessible today,” he added.
Civicon is in the process of prospecting for more boreholes in the area to provide water for the road construction. These boreholes will be subsequently handed over to the local communities after the completion of the road contract.
The LTWP aims to provide 300 Megawatts of reliable, low cost wind power to the Kenyan National grid, equivalent to approximately 20 percent of the current installed electricity generating capacity.
The project is of significant strategic benefit to Kenya, and at Sh75 billion, will be the largest single private investment in Kenya’s history.