Kenya’s Lake Turkana windfarm to come online after delays

A Kenyan wind project that has suffered from multiple delays could now come online within the next three months, the nation’s energy minister said this week.

The 310 MW Lake Turkana Wind Power project in the north of the country features 365 V52-850 kW turbines from Danish OEM Vestas and the company said construction work has been completed and the wind farm is ready to go. à‚ 

However, the planned 400 kV, 428 km transmission line needed to carry the wind farm’s power to Kenya’s central region has been plagued by delays including a legal challenge filed in 2014 over land acquisition and, more recently, the financial woes of the project’s main contractor, Spanish engineering and construction firm Isolux Corsan.

According to statements this week by Kenya’s energy minister Charles Keter, the government has begun the process of sourcing the materials necessary for local subcontractors to complete the job, work on which began in 2015.

Keter was quoted as saying that “instead of us terminating the contract, we’d rather manage by getting the materials because the subcontractors who are working on the line are Kenyans”.

“If we get the materials within the next three months, we should complete the line,” he said.

Funding for the project was provided by Finnfund, Norfund, the Danish Investment Fund for Developing Countries, the Danish Export Credit Agency and Vestas, which holds a 12.5 per cent stake in the project and intends to sell it to Google upon completion.


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