Kenya to Construct $170 Million Power Lines Connecting Turkana Wind Farm to National Grid

(By chinca)

Updated: 2015-07-30 10:06:23

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The east African nation has moved to construct a power line linking Africa's largest wind power plant to the country's main grid, say sources.

The transmission line will be a double circuit of 400 kv at 428 km, according to Lake Turkana Wind Power (LTWP), a wind power project on the eastern shore of Lake Turkana, the world’s largest alkaline lake.

According to the information from LTWP, the line construction is jointly funded by the Spanish and Kenyan governments.

Kenya Electricity Transmission Authority Ltd is the firm responsible for the connection of the world class power project to the country's national grid, LTWP confirmed to Construct Africa.

According to the body, the construction which is slated to start 'soonest' will be completed by September 2016.

"Any time from now, the contractor will be breaking the ground to install the [power transmission] line for evacuation of power starting September [2016],” Joel Kiilu, the Managing Director, Kenya Transmission Company Ltd told local press.

Upon completion, the power lines will relay about 90MW from the project.

The lines will equally transmit the wind power from the other plants once the plants enter production, slated for June 2017.

The planned additional plants will see the realization of the full capacity at 310 MW, according to LTWP.

The total output will be generated by 365 wind turbines, each with a capacity of 850 kW, associated with overhead electric grid collection system and a high voltage substation.

According to LTWP, at full capacity the project will produce an equivalent of about 20% of the country's total installed electricity generation capacity.

The project covering 40,000 acres is located in Loyangalani District, Marsabit County, northern Kenya.

The area receives steady flow of wind, required for running the turbines, says LTWP.

Presently, the wind power producers in Africa include, Morocco, with installed capacity of 750 MW, South Africa 570 MW among others.

The government has already set aside about $20 million to compensate land occupants, so as to pave way for the construction of the lines.

The wind power project is owned by a consortium of 6 firms, including KP&P Africa B.V and Aldwych International as co-developers, Industrial Fund for Developing Countries (IFU), Vestas  East Africa Ltd, Finnish Fund for Industrial Cooperation Ltd (Finnfund) and KLP Norfund Investment AS (KLP  Norfund).

Vestas East Africa Ltd will provide the maintenance of the plant under a 15 year service and availability contract with the consortium, LTWP reveals.

Under the agreement signed by Kenya and LTWP, the project will sell to the country power for 20 years at 8.42 US Cents per unit.

Upon the project reaching full capacity, Kenya will have national electric capacity of 6,700 MW, further easing the costs of production in the country.

The overall project [LTWP] will cost approximately $680 million.

The African Development Bank, Standard Bank and Nedbank Capital of South Africa are the lead arrangers of the project financing.

(Written by Allan Bariyo in Nairobi, and edited by Abhishek Raghunath)

To learn more about the construction industry in Kenya, click here to view ConstructAfrica's Kenya Construction Market Report