GE, Local Partners in 100MW Renewable Energy Project in Kajiado, Kenya

Jul 26, 2015 12:00 AM

A 100MW new wind farm will be built in Kajiado County following a partnership by General Electric Africa (GE) and Kipeto Energy Limited.

To undertake the project, the two partners signed a 15 year service agreement worth US$155million (Sh15.7b) with funding by Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) which is the US government's development finance institute and part the Power Africa Initiative.

"Our expertise allows us to share knowledge and build skills of local employees in these critical sectors," President and CEO of GE Africa Jay Ireland said during his attendance at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit.

The project will also see GE provide all equipment needed including 60 GE1.7-103 wind turbines.

Kipeto Energy Limited on the other hand will not undertake the project alone but will do so with shareholders. These include Africa Infrastructure Investment Managers, Craftskills Wind Energy International Finance Corporate and the Maasai community of Kipeto.

The wind farm is among other projects that GE has committed to invest in over the last year. Already, GE has an existing US$2.5billion (Sh202billion) worth of booked orders across Africa in the last year.

This follows a GE's selection back in February to partner with in the wide-scale infrastructure modernization programme aimed at transforming 98 hospitals across the 47 counties. Additionally, GE has an oil and gas equipment order for a Ghanaian company that is worth US$850million (Sh86billion) and another one in a locomotive contract in Angola.

"GE's capability and global expertise in power generation, healthcare, rail transportation, water, oil and gas, and aviation industries allows us to play a significant role as a partner in the development of Africa," Ireland said.

GE has been previously contracted in Sub-Saharan Africa in areas of transport, oil and gas, power generation, healthcare and aviation.

"We are exceptionally proud of the progress made against our commitment and the impact these initiatives have on Africa's workforce," Ireland said.

Additionally, GE is going to collaborate with Gearbox and Seven Seas Technologies to bring GE garages skills building programme to Kenya, a project that is meant to help build a skilled workforce and driver entrepreneurial development in the country.

It will also launch a GE Healthcare and Training Institute in Kenya, with a total investment of US$13million (Sh1.4billion) over the next 10 years, becoming the company's first dedicated skill development facility in Africa. According to GE, the company hopes to train more than 1,000 healthcare professionals over the next three years.

Lastly, the company GE Africa will collaborate with US African Development Foundation (USADF) and US Agency for International Development (USAID), on the expansion of Round Three of the Power Africa Off-Grind Energy Challenge. The project will be open to entrepreneurs and energy companies in Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia with a sum total of up to US$1.1million Sh111million). It will also have fifty awards to energy entrepreneurs in eleven African countries across the continent.

The projects are in line with US President remarks America's Power Africa Initiative had been leveraging private capital to invest in electrification all across the continent.

"Our preliminary goal was 10,000 megawatts; now we are looking at 30,000 megawatts, and we are on our way," President Obama said.

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In the period of July 20 till August 3, 2015, Alexander will be out of the office and the site will not or only irreg

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