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The Lake Turkana Wind power project in Kenya will receive US$692mn in funds after 11 banking institutions signed a pact to finance the project
According to officials, construction is likely to begin in June 2014 and the wind farm will have a capacity of 300MW.
The financiers include Africa Development Bank (AfDB), Standard Bank, PTA Bank, European Investment Bank and East Africa Development Bank, and shareholders will inject US$173mn.
The US$861mn project is touted to be the largest single wind power scheme in Africa, and will aid consistent power supply in Kenya. According to a Kenyan official, a 428km transmission line would be built to transport the electricity from the wind plant.
Carlo Van Wageningen, chairman of Lake Turkana Wind power project, said, ”Once constructed, Lake Turkana Wind Power will be the largest single wind power project in Africa. It is, to date, the largest single private investment in the history of Kenya.”
The project expects to produce an initial 100MW in 2016, with the remainder expected to be produced in two years and eight months thereafter, added Van Wageningen.
Kenya generates 1,664MW of electricity and is working on expanding its power supply by adding 5,000MW by 2017.
The wind power scheme could help save Kenya up to US$150mn annually in money used to import fuel for thermal power generation, according to project sources.