European Investment Bank (EIB) to fund Olkaria plant expansion

Olkaria geothermal plant in Kenya

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed a €60-million loan accord with Kenya to support a current project designed to link 300 000 Kenyan homes to the national electricity grid.
The loan for Kenya Power’s ‘Last Mile Connectivity’ project forms part of a “blended” €180-million European financing package, which also comprises a €90-million loan from the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and a €30-million grant from the European Union.
The loan agreement was signed in Nairobi at a gathering attended by Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for the Treasury Henry Rotich, EU Ambassador Stefano Dejak, French Ambassador Antoine Sivan, EIB VP Pim Van Ballekom and AFD regional director Bruno Deprince.
Van Ballekom, who is accountable for operations in East Africa, said the loan would make certain that up to 1.5-million people were linked to the electricity grid which is a fundamental condition for additional economic growth
A letter of intent was also signed by EIB for the expansion of the existing Olkaria I geothermal plant. The €113-million funding would support the addition of a 70 MW turbine, as well as the construction of wells, a steam gathering system and interconnection amenities.
In a separate letter of intent, the EIB promised to fund the upgrade and expansion of a 42 km access road to the Port of Mombasa. The road, which connects Mombasa and Mariakani, will be enhanced to lessen congestion, which causes setbacks for goods traveling via the port.
The project would be co-funded by a concessional loan of €50-million agreed by the German government and to be provided by KfW Development Bank, as well as an EU grant contribution and a loan from African Development Bank
As part of a three-day program, the EIB will also visit the site of the 310-MW Lake Turkana wind farm, which it helped finance in 2014. All of the plant’s 365 turbines are already installed.

Country/ Features Editor, Kenya