Bank backs Lake Turkana wind link

Plans for Kenya’s Lake Turkana wind farm have moved forward after the African Development Bank (AfDB) signed-off the first €20m ($27.2m) guarantee covering construction of its transmission line.

The AfDB in April agreed to partially guarantee against the risk of government failure to meet its contractual obligations to the transmission project as part of a package of measures to spur construction of the 300MW wind farm.

Agreement of the first Partial Risk Guarantee will help reduce the exposure  to delays to the link of partners and investors in the Lake Turkana plant, said the development bank.

The transmission project involves construction of a 428km publicly-owned link between Loyangalani and Suswa to connect Lake Turkana to the grid.

The wind farm – which is slated to use Vestas turbines – has been the subject of several false dawns, with construction originally due to start in mid-2011, before being pushed back to the end of that year, then into 2012, and then going quiet.

In April the AfDB announced that it would take a renewed role in kick-starting the project, including via a €115m finance package.