Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH (DEG) is providing the operating company of the planned 300 MW Lake Turkana wind project in Kenya, Lake Turkana Wind Power, with a mezzanine loan worth US$27.5 million. Further lenders are the African Development Bank, the European Investment Bank, the European development finance institutions Proparco (France) and FMO (Netherlands) and other African development finance institutions as well as commercial banks, including the Standard Bank of South Africa.

Some US$850 million is being invested in total. “With our financing for the wind park at Lake Turkana we boost private sector commitment for renewable energy carriers,” Eric Kaleja, director of the DEG representative office in Kenya, said on the occasion of the signing ceremony in Nairobi.

The Lake Turkana wind park is intended to be expanded step by step up until 2017. By that time, 365 wind turbines of the Danish Vestas Wind Systems A/S will generate 300 MW. The supporting infrastructure comes largely from Siemens. Fed into the national grid, the electricity is expected to cover around 17 per cent of the domestic demand in its first year of operation.

In the context of the construction of the wind park, further investments into the local infrastructure are being planned. The network operator of the Kenyan government, Kenya Electricity Transmission Company is to build a new 428 kilometre power line. The wind park operator is going to undertake the development of a 204 kilometre stretch of the road connecting the project area with the A2 highway

At present, only every tenth household in East Africa has access to electricity. In rural areas, supply is particularly poor and many people in these regions continue to use the expensive and environmentally hazardous kerosene as an energy carrier. The Kenyan government has presented a rural electrification master plan, which, amongst others, intends to enable smaller hydro, wind and solar power stations in regions far away from the grid and offer more attractive feed-in rates for the operators.

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