Some of the 350 wind
turbines in the Lake
Turkana wind power
project in Kenya
 
Nairobi, Kenya — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 11 October 2011 – International financiers will give Kenya US$600 million for the construction of transmission lines to enable the country tap into new power plants in the arid north and to surpluses from her two neighbours.

Spain will give US$143.75 million to build a line to transport power from a wind farm in Turkana, with counterpart state funding set at US$65.8 million. The line is expected to cost about US$200 million, the Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (Ketraco) said.

Ketraco added that another 400 Kilovolt power transmission line spanning over 1,200km between Suswa and Sodo in Ethiopia will be financed to the extent of US$350 million by the World Bank and African Development Bank (AfDB) to tap into that country’s vast hydro sources.

In addition, the AfDB is funding the Kenya-Uganda line to the tune of US$70 million, according to Ketraco chief executive Joel Kiilu.

Kiilu said the agreement with the Spanish government was set for signing before year-end, ahead of part commissioning of a sixth of the plant’s capacity, estimated at 300MW or 17% of the national capacity.

“We have the goodwill from financiers. The AfDB has agreed to finance the interconnector with Uganda for US$70 million,” said Kiilu in a telephone interview.

Officials of Lake Turkana Wind Power (LTWP) said in an email response that they expect to close the financing by April next year with commissioning of 50MW expected a year and a half later.

Construction of the generation plant will start at financial close, targeted for the first quarter of 2012. The transmission line will start at the same time. The first 50MW will be commissioned in the last quarter of 2013, and full commissioning of the 300MW is targeted for approximately nine months later,” said the email response.