Uhuru’s Biggest Project in Africa Attracts Firestorm

Some of the turbines at Lake Turkana Wind Power farm in Marsabit County.

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s project that was ranked as the biggest in Africa has been caught up in headwinds over disagreements.

According to a report by Citizen TV, the National Treasury is locked up in a showdown with the National Assembly over Ksh1.2 billion it released to the investors of the Lake Turkana Wind Power (LTWP) farm without its knowledge.

The payments were reported to be a compensation to the investors of the farm for the government’s delay in the completion of the Loiyangalani-Suswa transmission line for over a year to September 2018.

The Parliament Budget Office (PBO) flagged the introduction of the spending arguing that it contradicted article 223 of the constitution on spending money that has not been appropriated.

Wind turbines at Lake Turkana Wind Power farm in Marsabit County which was ranked as Africa’s biggest.

The National Assembly’s Budget and Appropriations Committee (BAC) demanded that the Ksh1.2 billion payment be deferred for the completion of a special audit by the Office of the Auditor-General.

Leaders from the LTWP, however, according to the broadcaster, confirmed having received all pending bills owed by the government for the delay of the line.

“We do not have any outstanding payments due from the government for the delay of the transmission line,” the broadcaster quoted LTWP Director Rizwan Fazal.

LWTP leadership had slapped the government with a fine for the delay of the transmission line as per the contract.

African Development Bank (AfDB) ranked LWTP, which is located in Marsabit County, as Africa’s largest wind farm.

LTWP has an installed capacity of 310MW of clean, reliable, low-cost energy and 365 wind turbines with a capacity of 850kW each.

“The project will benefit Kenya by providing clean and affordable energy that will reduce the overall energy cost to end consumers,” read a statement from AfDB in 2015.

Two years after construction began, the power plant started feeding electricity to the national electricity grid when it was connected to the power transmission line to join the grid in Suswa, Narok County.

The Lake Turkana Wind Power farm in Loiyangalani District, Marsabit County
The Lake Turkana Wind Power farm in Loiyangalani District, Marsabit County. Treasury reportedly paid Ksh1.2 billion to the farm’s leadership without the National Assembly’s knowledge.

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