, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 24 – The Lake Turkana Wind Power Project (LTWP) has marked a significant milestone with the signing of a Sh76 billion loan with over 10 different financiers, which brings to completion the project’s financing aspect.
The financiers have been brought together by the African Development Bank (AfDB) with the European Investment Bank (EIB) giving the highest contribution of Sh23 billion.
Speaking during the signing ceremony on Monday, Lake Turkana Wind Power Chairman Carlo Van Wageningen said the move will see the kick-off the long awaited project in June this year.
“Nine years of sitting at desks, preparing paper work, nine years of studies have been really long. We are people of action and we will act. We want to be in the field and break ground as soon as possible because we want to bring this change to Kenya,” Wageningen said.
The LTWP project which has been under private development since 2005 is expected to take two and a half years.
Other lenders include the Standard Bank of South Africa, Nedbank, Dutch development lender (FMO), Proparco of France, East African Development Bank, PTA Bank, Danish export credit agency EKF, Triodos and German Investment Corporation, DEG.
The Government of the Netherlands has also provided a grant of Sh1.1billion.
“This is Kenya’s largest private sector investment since independence. As the lead arrangers, we are proud to have played the key role of convening all the partners together to reach this historic financial close,” AfDB Regional Director Gabriel Negatu stated,
The bank has further provided a Partial Risk Guarantee to the government to protect the project against the threat of delays in the construction of the transmission line, thereby providing additional comfort to prospective lenders.
The project is expected to begin producing power in early 2016, adding 300Megawatts to the national power grid which will be bought at a fixed price by Kenya Power for over a 20-year period in accordance with the signed Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).
LTWP project is a Vision 2030 flagship project and will be a transformative project in terms for the development impact to the Northern arid areas of Kenya, the electricity sector, and to Kenya as a whole.
It is also expect to generate up to US$150 million (Sh17.9billion) a year in foreign currency savings to Kenya through fuel displacement costs.
The wind farm site, covering 40,000 acres is located in Loiyangalani District, Marsabit County. It will comprise 365 wind turbines, each with a capacity of 850 Kilowatt, the associated overhead electric grid collection system and a high voltage substation.
The Kenya Electricity Transmission Company Limited (KETRACO) is now constructing a double circuit 400 kilovolts, 428km transmission line to deliver the LTWP electricity along with power from other future plants to the national grid.