Kipeto Energy Reaches Financial Close Following the Acquisition by Actis and the African Infrastructure Investment Managers
Kipeto Energy Ltd has reached financial close following the acquisition by Actis of the respective equity interests of IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and African Infrastructure Investment Managers, a member of Old Mutual Alternative Investments.
The project is now funded by equity from Actis (88 per cent) and Kenyan company Craftskills Wind Energy International (12 per cent) alongside senior debt from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the US Government’s development finance institution.
Once operational, Kipeto, located in Kajiado County, as the country’s second largest wind farm, will supply 100MW of clean energy to the national grid.
The Kipeto project was originally conceived by Craftskills, with support from General Electric. AIIM and IFC InfraVentures co-developed the project with Craftskills from 2014 until early 2018, executing a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement with Kenya Power in 2016.
The project is now preparing for the construction of 60 GE 1.7-103 wind turbines and a 17km (220KV) transmission line to carry the power to Isinya substation in Kajiado County, providing power to the equivalent of approximately 40,000 homes in the region.
It is anticipated that more than 400 job opportunities will be created during the construction phase of the project and an additional 70 permanent jobs during the operational phase. The project is expected to reach commercial operation in 2020.
“GE is incredibly proud to be a part of this exciting endeavor. The Kipeto project is an important step forward in providing affordable, reliable clean energy to the region, and meeting Kenya’s renewable energy goals. We look forward to working with our partners on the journey for years to come,” Peter Wells, GE’s Onshore Wind Regional Director for Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa, said.
Actis, IFC, AIIM and Craftskills worked with specialist consultants during both the planning and development stages of the project to undertake a series of environmental assessments and impact studies.
“We would like to thank the local community for their support of this project from the outset. We have leased and secured more than 60 plots within the project area for the wind turbine footprint and the transmission line through voluntary participation of land owners, which is a first for any project of this kind in Kenya, and we’re constructing new houses for the families outside the project’s 500m buffer zone, so local buy-in has been a vital component,’’ Dr. Kenneth Namunje, Director of Craftskills and Chairman and Director of Kipeto Energy Limited, said.
With support from USAID Power Africa, Kipeto has developed and initiated a Biodiversity Action Plan, which is designed around the international best practice outlined in the IFC environmental performance standards.
“We are delighted to have achieved what we set out to do in co-developing the project and mobilizing development-stage financing for the project’s implementation. We have a long history with Actis which gives us complete confidence in their ability to guide the company through its next stage of growth and complete the project to the high standards established during the development phase of the project,” added Jumoke Jagun-Dokunmu, IFC Regional Director for Eastern Africa.
OPIC is the principal lender to the project. The African Trade Insurance Agency will provide a 10-year standby revolving and on-demand insurance cover to protect the project against the risk of payment delays by the national off-taker.
“AIIM is proud to have laid the ground work for the Kipeto Wind Energy Project, which will be the second largest wind power project in Kenya, and to have partnered successfully with local developers and stakeholders in making an important contribution to the country’s sustainable economic development,” said Jurie Swart, CEO AIIM.
The wind turbines will be provided by GE Renewable Energy who will also provide operations and maintenance services for the project, while China Machinery Engineering Corporation will be providing Engineering, Procurement and Construction services. In addition, Haidco are construction equipment suppliers for the project, as well as building partners for the new community housing.
“We thank IFC and AIIM for such a well-managed period of transition. We are excited about taking the Kipeto project forward and we are committed to maintaining the highest level of standards drawing on our 70 years of investing responsibly in Africa. The project will not only contribute significantly to the Government’s Vision 2030 agenda but will also have a positive impact on the local community through the creation of jobs and provision of over 80 houses,” said Lisa Pinsley, Director in the energy business at Actis.
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