17 October 2012

Kenya: World Bank Backs Out of Turkana Wind Project

The World Bank has been sidelined from the negotiations to fund the Lake Turkana wind power project for delaying to undertake the risk cover for the financiers.

The World Bank was invited to issue a credit enhancement package to cover political risk guarantee and partial risk guarantee to cover for delays in repayment of loans to the lenders.

"We have decided with the government that we should not be held back and if the World Bank is able to catch up well and good but we have decided to move on with other alternatives and fallback situations," said LTWP chairman Carlo Van Wageningen during the signing of a memorandum of understanding with Vision 2030as a recognition of the LTWP as one of the flagship projects.

The project fell behind its scheduled April commencement date as the financiers waited for the guarantees to go through. "We are negotiating the last details of the loan agreement" Said Wegeningen.

The World Bank, which is to co-guarantee the €582 million debt. The lead financier is the African Development Bank. The guarantee from the World Bank are yet to be granted, as institution carries out due diligence in order to let its agencies, the Multilateral Guarantee Investment Agency and the International Development Agency to commit to deal.

He said ground breaking date for construction of the project which is Africa's largest wind power venture estimated to cost 80 billion shillings has not been set, but funding negotiations are will be complete in few months time.

The project is scheduled to be completed within 31 months after the construction works start. The company intends to put up 365 wind power turbines on 40 thousand acres, to be preceded by construction of a workers village roads and water infrastructure.

The company will also construct a 428 kilometre transmission line to Suswa in Naivasha and an anti static plant before connecting four towns with power, among them Loiyangalani as part of socials responsibility projects.

The line will carry a fibre optic cable for high speed data transmission benefiting community. They have already sunk 12 boreholes to provide water to the project and surrounding communities.

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