Kenyan Lake Wind Power Project Gets $686 Mln Financing

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Written by Kevin Mwanza

Written by George Obulutsa | From Reuters

Construction of Kenya’s Lake Turkana Wind Power project, which has been delayed by financing difficulties, should begin by June after it secured 498 million euros ($686 million) in funding, officials said on Monday.

The project and its financiers signed agreements for the sum, paving the way for the start of the 623 million euro project, the largest single wind power scheme in Africa, building of which had previously been scheduled for the first quarter of 2014.

The wind farm will have a capacity of 300 megawatts (MW) and will help to plug a power supply shortfall which, coupled with an ageing grid, has led to frequent blackouts that hamper industry and anger residents in east Africa’s biggest economy.

A Kenyan official said a 428-km transmission line would be built to transport the electricity from the wind plant, which had initially been due to start generating power in June 2011.

“Let’s say by June we hope to have completed all the conditions precedent, and then we can put the spade in the ground. What is very important is that the transmission line starts before us,” Carlo Van Wageningen, chairman of Lake Turkana Wind, said by telephone.

Denmark’s Vestas Wind Systems will supply some 365 wind turbines at the site in the north west of the country.

Read more at Reuters