“Today, we again raise the bar for the continent as we unveil Africa’s single largest wind farm,” said president Uhuru Kenyatta. The wind farm provides 15-17% of the country’s installed capacity.
The Lake Turkana Wind Power Project (LTWP) comprises of 365 wind turbines, each with a capacity of 850kW, and provides up to 310 MW of reliable, low cost energy to Kenya’s national grid.
The wind farm began injecting power in to the national grid in September 2018, but on Friday 19thJuly, 2019, H.E. Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta officially inaugurated the project. The ceremony was joint for the inauguration of the wind farm and for the commissioning of the 438km transmission line which connects the wind farm to the national grid.
The largest private investment in Kenya’s history
The project is hailed as the single largest wind farm on the continent and also the largest private investment in Kenya’s history to date at circa 700 MUSD. It is also viewed as the most complex infrastructure financing project ever undertaken in East Africa. Special mention was given by the President to the investors, such as KLP Norfund Investments, who, he said "have worked tirelessly to bring the project to fruition".
“The project will increase electricity supply, reduce our reliance on thermal generated electricity and insulate Kenya from supply constraints during periods of low water level. Indeed it should be noted, that without the wind power project, the fuel cost charge would have been higher [..]. This is a combined saving to Kenyans.”
H.E. Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta
Positive effects for the local communities
In addition to providing a reliable, low-cost source of clean energy for Kenya’s population, the LTWP project provides opportunities for the local communities near the plant. The community in Marsabit County has benefited from a 208 kilometres road from Laisamis to the project site. The rehabilitation of this road has also had positive impacts on local communities by reducing the time and costs of transport and has helped to increase trade in the region. A number of initiatives to improve the local population’s access to water, health services and education are also established. In addition, more than 2,500 people were employed during the LTWP construction period, 75 percent of whom were local residents.
Present at the inauguration were high level representation from both the National Government and the County Government of Marsabit, members of the Diplomatic Corps, project contractors, lenders, investors and community members. Among them was Norfund senior investment manager, Abubakar Lewano. He works at the Norfund regional office in Nairobi and he was born in Marsabit county. He was pleased to visit the site and welcome the President of Kenya to the region.
I have all reasons to be happy as this is also the project that will ultimately provide electricity to my rural village in Northern Kenya!
Abubakar Lewano, Norfund Senior Investment Manager