Kenya’s 300 MW wind farm gets €200m European bank funding

The European Investment Bank is to provide €200m ($275m) of funding for the biggest wind farm in sub-Saharan Africa.

The 300 MW Lake Turkana wind power project is to be built in Kenya, where it is expected to provide 20 per cent of the country’s electricity once operational in 2016.

Located in remote northern region of the country, the project has a total price tag of €620m and marks the largest ever private investment in Kenya. It will comprise 365 turbines, each capable of generating 850 kW, as well as associated power and road connections.

The project will receive additional financial support from the European Union, through the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund, as well as from international investors including the African Development Bank and development finance institutions and commercial banks from the Netherlands, France, Germany, Finland and Norway.

Pim van Ballekom, European Investment Bank vice-president, said the “availability of affordable energy is essential for Africa, and electricity from the Lake Turkana Wind Power project will support economic growth across Kenya by helping to ensure power supply during periods of peak demand”.

He added that funding for the project marked “a milestone for the history of energy in Kenya and we look forward to the project fulfilling high expectations once complete.”  

EU Ambassador Lodewijk Briet said that the wind farm was “a historic display of how European private finance, development investment and funding grants can combine to lead the way in building infrastructure in sub-Saharan Africa”.

Lake Turkana wind power project is expected to supply electricity at 60 per cent cheaper than thermal power stations and also cut the country’s reliance on hydro plants.

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