By Josephat Siror
The country’s first major wind energy project has edged closer to tipping point after crucial talks that could see its birth veer into limbo.
Lake Turkana Wind Power (LTWP) cites trail of frustrations spinning around the multi-billion shilling project whose earlier kick-off timetable lapsed three months ago.
LTWP chairman Carlos Van Wagenigen, told The Standard the project is facing unprecedented delays, partly occasioned by World Bank’s request to relook at the contents of the Power Purchase Agreement.
Wagenigen reckons that World Bank’s latest involvement could delay the project. Already, parties involved and financiers have signed the previous agreements and any changes could translate to renegotiation.
“We appreciate interventions by the various agencies, but it can be very frustrating given that World Bank has its own internal, but bureaucratic processes,” explained Wagenigen.
Recently, a flurry of discussions angling around contentious issues in the PPA has been held between various agencies, but an answer is yet to be brokered.
Last week, Wind Power confirmed that the consultative meetings were held with eventual goal of arriving at a speedy conclusion.
Christopher Staubo, founder and Deputy MD at Turkana Wind Power had disclosed that discussions had reached completion stages.
However, owing to the implications of breach of contract, neither the outcome nor signs of the finalisation of the review of PPA appears to be forthcoming soon. According to the chairman, sanctioning of the PPA document was meant to accommodate the WB’s tight conditions after the Government failed to mobilize sufficient funds on its own.
Whilst the Kenya Power has on one hand remained mum on the latest intrigues behind the project, continued delay on the other hand has sent mixed signals that would potentially cost the parties.
The Standard has further established that politics have also reared its ugly head further threatening the project. But Wind Power officials are still confident that the project will kick off soon.