The Lake Turkana Wind Power project is finally producing renewable energy to the Kenyan people and businesses. The consortium responsible for the construction of the wind park reached all deadlines on time but was until now unable to connect to the national grid due to a more than one-year delay of a 428 km long transmission line from the project site at Loiyangalani to Suswa.
The Lake Turkana Wind Park consists of 365 wind turbines from the Danish company Vestas. As of today, 39 of these have been energised and are starting to produce electricity. In the coming month, more wind turbines will gradually be energised and connected to the grid.
– This is a great milestone for the Lake Turkana Wind Power project and Kenya, which will soon feel the full benefit of producing renewable energy at a competitive price, said Torben Huss, acting CEO of the Danish Investment Fund for Developing Countries (IFU).
A huge effort with a local impact
Lake Turkana Wind Power is Kenya’s largest private sector investment to date and one of the most complex energy financing projects undertaken in Sub-Saharan Africa. The EUR 678 million financing for the project was secured by a number of international investors and lenders, including the Nordic Development Finance Institutions Norfund, Finnfund and The Danish Climate Investment Fund – which is managed by IFU – that have all contributed with share capital.
The construction phase was extremely complex and involved the construction of more than 200 km road needed for transporting the wind turbines and other equipment from the port in Mombasa to the site. Moreover, Lake Turkana Wind Power and Vestas have along the way invested in a number of local projects within water, health and education as well as employed more 2,500 people, of which 75 per cent were locals from the Marsabit county.
These investments have had a positive impact on the local communities by reducing transport cost and time, increasing trade across the area as well as to and from the capital, improving health, and by local wages inducing purchasing power to the local economy.
– The Lake Turkana Wind Power project is a good example of how a commercial investment can benefit local communities as well as serving the investors, said Torben Huss.