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Last week, the largest wind farm in Africa was inaugurated by the Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta.
With Lake Turkana Wind Power (LTWP), Kenya is setting the bar very high. Established in the north of Kenya, above the hills of Lake Turkana, the 310 MW wind power facility reasserts the country’s objective of consuming 100% renewable energy by 2020.
The wind park will improve access to reliable, sustainable and cheaper electricity in Kenya, is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 380,000 tons of CO2 per year and created 2,500 jobs during the construction phase and 200 permanent jobs for the operation phase.
LTWP accounts for 17% of the power generated in Kenya and contributes to lowering the cost of power by replacing more expensive thermal plants. LTWP has installed 365 wind turbines in Marsabit County, a site known for its steady winds.
In 2014, FMO provided a USD 35 million senior loan to LTWP, to finance the construction of the iconic park in northern Kenya's Rift Valley. Next to that, FMO is an equity investor in the project, owning 5% of the shares.
Frederik van Pallandt, Director Energy at FMO: “We are proud to see this landmark project in Africa be inaugurated. It has been one of the most exciting projects I have been involved in, during my time at FMO. The Dutch involvement in the equity, debt and the grant shows the important role the Netherlands can play in the roll-out of renewable energy projects in Africa.”
Even before its launch, LTWP has changed lives. It has built a 208 km road - at a cost of EUR 24 million including a grant of EUR 10 million from the Government of the Netherlands - that cuts down travel time from Laisamis to Sarima from 7 hours to 2.5 hours; has opened trade, investment and economic activity; improved security in the area; and improved access to health and education opportunities in an area previously marginalized.”
The project is the largest private investment ever made in Kenya (EUR 685 Million) and FMO participated, alongside a consortium of international donors such as the EIB, Proparco, AfDB, DEG, Nedbank, EKF, Nedbank, Standard Bank, Triodos and EADB.
Want to find out more about FMO’s involvement in Lake Turkana Wind Power? Read the P-Plus Special (in Dutch): ‘FMO invests in Africa’s largest wind park'