Kenya is set to launch the Lake Turkana Wind Power Plant at the end of this month after 18months delay. Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter confirmed the statement while giving the final simulation of the project at the power generation site ahead of the commissioning of the plant by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The US $278m wind power project whose contract was awarded to a consortium of two Chinese firms – NARI Group Corporation and Power China Guizhou Engineering Company will add an additional 300MW to the national grid following the completion of a 400KV transmission line.
Reduced Power tariffs
The Energy CS said that the power plant will result to a reduction in power tariffs once full evacuation of power from the wind farm begins.
“The completion of this project together with the 55MW we are expecting from the Garissa solar plant means we will be running less diesel even as the fuel cost charge will go up because of the new VAT on fuel,” said Mr.Charles.
Mr Charles further explained that the project delays affected the total cost of construction and US $57m penalty from the Lake Turkana Wind Farm in Marsabit County for failing to complete the transmission line linking the plant to the national grid in time.
“The 428-kilometre power transmission line was initially supposed to cost Sh15 billion but the Government had to engage a new contractor after Spanish firm Isolux Corsan went bankrupt. Following the line delay, the Government had up to September 1 to complete the line or pay damages of US $10m a month to Lake Turkana Wind Company thereafter.” he said.
Energy CS Charles Keter however did not say whether taxpayers would be subject to another penalty this month given the lapse of the deadline.