L Turkana Wind eyes power out­put in June

The firm has in­stalled 155 of the 365 tur­bines – tested for power gen­er­a­tion – in the past six months es­ti­mated at Sh70 bil­lion

The Star (Kenya) - - News Business - WEITERE MWITA @MwitaMartin

The Lake Turkana Wind Power, the de­vel­oper of the 310-megawatt farm, will start gen­er­at­ing elec­tric­ity for the na­tional grid by June next year, the com­pany has an­nounced.

The firm says about 90MW of power will be pro­duced in the se­cond quar­ter of 2017, nine months af­ter the pro­jected pe­riod in Septem­ber 2016.

“This out­put from the wind farm will be enough to power more than one mil­lion Kenyan house­holds,” Lake Turkana Wind Power gen­eral man­ager Phylip Le­ferink said in a statement.

The firm has in­stalled 155 of the 365 tur­bines in the past six months esti- mated at Sh70 bil­lion. The project will be the largest wind farm in Africa on com­ple­tion. The com­pany said Ves­tas tur­bines are al­ready be­ing tested for power gen­er­a­tion.

“By man­ag­ing to hoist these tur­bines within the stip­u­lated time, the team has not only achieved a tech­no­log­i­cal feat, but also nav­i­gated through a lo­gis­ti­cal chal­lenge of get­ting all the tur­bines here in Loiyan­galani, which is 1200km from the Port of Mom­basa,” Le­ferink said. “This is a clear demon­stra­tion that we are on course to launch­ing the largest wind farm in Africa on time.”

The assem­bly of the tur­bines be­gan in March 2016 af­ter the civil works on the foun­da­tions of the first batch of tur­bines had been com­pleted. The var­i­ous parts, in­clud­ing the blades, were trans­ported by road to the site from the Port of Mom­basa.

Kenya, which re­lies heav­ily on re­new­ables such as geo­ther­mal and hy­dropower, aims to ex­pand in­stalled ca­pac­ity to about 6,700MW by 2017, up from 1,700MW in 2013.

The Marsabit county-based wind firm has a 20-year deal to sell elec­tric­ity at Sh8.6kWh to Kenya Power. The farm sits on 40,000 acres in an area that re­ceives steady winds through­out the year.

“We are im­pressed with the progress that we have made so far; we are work­ing with our project part­ners to en­sure that we com­plete this wind farm within the stip­u­lated time.

This will en­sure that we will soon be able to play a key role in Kenya’s en­ergy sup­ply and make a sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tion to­wards the coun­try’s eco­nomic growth,” Le­ferink said.

/JACK OWUOR

A view of the Sh70 bil­lion Lake Turkana Wind Power project in Loiyan­galani dis­trict, Marsabit county, on Au­gust 16. The pro­gramme, which sits on 40,000 acres, is the largest pri­vate in­vest­ment in Kenya

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