NAIROBI, Kenya – American global conglomerate, GE has gone into cooperation with a Chinese firm to develop wind farms in Kenya and Africa as a whole writes JOHN SAMBO.
“Partnership with GE proves to be strategically valuable for our sustainable success in emerging markets like Africa. It clearly outlines a new formula for US-China collaboration in third country markets,” Ren Hongbin, Chairman of Sinomach said last week.
According to a press release, GE and state-owned Beijing-based machinery company Sinomach, signed a memorandum of understanding to set up a clean power initiative, to double electricity access in sub-Saharan Africa.
The MoU states that the joint venture will enhance cooperation for projects in Africa’s clean energy sector; jointly develop, invest and finance clean energy projects under the Power Africa initiative.
The two will also collaborate on the Kipeto Wind Power Project to provide 102MW for Kenya’s national grid.
The Kipeto Wind Power Project will be developed in the Kajiado county in Kenya. According to Kenya Power’s data, the country’s current installed generation capacity of 2,211MW comprises of the following: 6% hydro; 3% geothermal; 9% fossil thermal; 4% wind power
Once the power project reaches completion, it is expected to contribute 102MW of clean power to the region’s national power grid.
The wind farm will be installed with 47 GE 1.6-100 wind turbines and 16 GE 1.6-82.5 wind turbines (each with the capacity of 1.62MW).
As part of United States President Barack Obama’s Power Africa Initiative, the wind power project falls in line with theplans to facilitate the expansion of power access in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria and Tanzania. He launched Power Africa in Tanzania last year.
The power company said that the Lake Turkana wind power project together with the Kipeto projects will add a total of 400MW.
Kenya is set on adding power to the national grid as soon as possible in order to sustain economic growth and reduce the costs of doing businesss in East Africa’s biggest economy.