27 November 2012

Kenya: Firm to Build U.S. $100 Million Wind Power Initiative

Nairobi — Global infrastructure development giant General Electric Company (GE) last week announced a grand plan of investing some $100 million towards power generation in Kenya over the next one year.

The funding will go towards the construction of two wind power projects to boost generation to the national grid.

The two projects to be constructed in Kenya Rift Valley town of Kinangop will have the capacity to general about 150 Megawatts in what will be a major boost to Kenya current generation deficit.

According to GE President in charge of Africa Mr. Jay Ireland, the company is currently engaging the Kenyan government in negotiations over the required Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) before the project takes off the ground. The government is being represented by the national power distributor Kenya Power.

"Our negotiations with Kenya Power are at a very advanced stage and the groundbreaking could come as early as the beginning of next year. The negotiations are centering on the requisite PPA," said Ireland.

The project is all goes according to schedule could be complete by close of next year, according to the Mr. Ireland. The success of the first project according to Ireland will inform the company's projection of putting up other projects with a goal of producing some 1,000 Megawatts over the next two years.

Other investment opportunities being eyed by the multinational include the railway sector where the African President said the company will working in conjunction with the Rift Valley Railways (RVR).

Our engagement with RVR is towards building the requisite capacity to provide high class locomotives among other things. This is one area we have a lot of specialty in as a company through the GE Transportation arm," he said.

GE is also involved in projects in other sectors among them health, water, aviation in partnership with the government and other entities.

The increased investments in Kenya follow a meeting the multinational had with the Kenyan government in 2010 and spearheaded by Prime Minister Raila Odinga on how the company could employ its experience to help solve Kenya's infrastructure challenges.

GE currently operates in 35 countries in Africa. They include, Angola, Congo, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, and Tanzania among others.

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