Kenyan President Hands Laspsset Project To US Backed Dealmakers

Kenyan President Hands Laspsset Project To US Backed Dealmakers

Written by Edwin Mutai | From Business Daily

The Jubilee government has embarked on yet another round of multi-billion-shilling infrastructure projects to be funded by foreign private money even as it struggles to win public support for the controversial standard gauge railway plan.

The Business Daily has learnt that President Uhuru Kenyatta met a team of dealmakers at State House, Nairobi on Sunday afternoon and directed the Treasury to facilitate their entry into the multi-billion-dollar Lamu Port South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (Laspsset) corridor contracts.

The team of powerful dealmakers, including Shamaz Savani of ABC Bank, lawyer Njau Mukuha, accountant Kairo Thuo and investment banker Peter Gachuba, committed to invest $3.29 billion (Sh280 billion) in the Lamu corridor projects.

Though the group of business operatives was largely made up of Kenyans, it had big muscle support from the US embassy in Nairobi, US conglomerate General Electric, Spanish energy firm Iberdrola, Norwegian gas company Hoegh LNG, AKL Wind Energy, transport solutions provider Indra Systems and independent power producer Aeolus Kenya.

The consortium of foreign companies has an interest in building three berths at Lamu port, an 850 megawatt gas-fired power plant, Lamu International Airport, Lamu-Isiolo highway and a water desalination plant. Mr Kenyatta approved the proposal and ordered it to be fast tracked.

State House spokesman Manoah Esipisu said there was “nothing to report at present” about the involvement of the consortium in
rolling out the Lapsset project in reponse to our enquiries.

But the Business Daily has reliably learnt that the investors have promised to raise money from US agency Overseas Private Investment Corporation (Opic), the Export-Import Bank of the US, the United States Agency for International Development (USAid), South African lender Standard Bank and US private equity firm American Capital Energy & Infrastructure corporation.

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