Electrawinds, a Luxembourg based renewable energy company, and IFC InfraVentures (a $100 million 5-year fund created by International Finance Corporation to fund and proactively develop private and PPP infrastructure projects) have signed a cooperation agreement for the development of a large-scale wind project in Mpeketoni (Lamu County). The planned wind farm is to have an installed capacity of 90 MW and is located in the south-east of Kenya. Investment costs are estimated at € 180 million.
Electrawinds has developed the Mpeketoni wind farm since 2011 and considers IFC InfraVentures to be a key partner to further develop, finance and, eventually, operate the future wind farm. Now that a joint commitment has been made, a joint development team has been set up to further develop the project. After having obtained the environmental permit, it is expected that the planning permission will also be obtained – later this year.
Another important milestone will be the signing of the Power Purchase Agreement. Project execution is planned to start in 2014. Electrawinds and IFC will share the project development efforts and the proven track record of IFC is expected to contribute in securing the necessary project finance.
By signing the cooperation agreement, Electrawinds and IFC InfraVentures are firming up their common ambition to provide Kenya with a major incentive for renewable energy. Depending on which turbines will be selected, the wind farm in Mpeketoni will consist of between 36 and 45 turbines. The project site spans an area of 800 hectares and is located some 20 km from the new seaport of Lamu which – thanks to current expansion – is gaining in economic importance. It is expected that the economic growth in the area will be accompanied by an increase in local electricity consumption. The Mpeketoni wind farm can help satisfy this need for additional capacity.
IFC’s investment was done through its InfraVentures vehicle, created in
2008 to develop infrastructure projects in emerging markets. Energy is an important basis for economic development and prosperity. With regard to wind energy, priority is given to countries that have favorable wind conditions and whose governments have a policy supporting renewable energy.
Kenya meets these criteria.
IFC InfraVentures is the project development vehicle of the International Finance Corporation which is part of the World Bank Group, the world’s largest institution for development cooperation. IFC InfraVentures shares the mission to reduce global poverty by providing early equity and expertise for the development of bankable private infrastructure projects, which are essential to improving economic opportunities. In doing so it supports and guides private developers, helping to eliminate stumbling blocks to financial close.