By Nicholus Nduati
Kinangop Wind Park has abandoned construction of a Ksh. 15 billion wind power project in Kinangop, Nyandarua county citing persistent unresolved civil objection.
The firm says that since the inauguration of the project in 2014, the construction has stalled due to frequent protests by the local community over compensation of affected land owners.
Kenya’s dream of having one of the largest wind power plants in Africa seems to have come to a premature end after the Kinangop Wind Park abandoned its construction works.
The project was the first to be a licensed independent large-scale wind power project in the country and upon completion was due to deliver electricity to about 150,000 Kenyan households.
In a statement, Wind Park says that since 2014 when the project was inaugurated, commencement of the construction has been prevented by civil commotion in the community creating an unsafe environment for the team to implement it.
To its defense regarding compensation, Kinangop Wind Park says that local parties opposing the project have prevented the firm from engaging directly with the affected landowners.
The firm says there have been a number of serious insecurity issues in the area with the most recent one happening this month. According to the firm, the subsequent material delays have also led to depletion of funds for the project that is shareholder funded.
The proposed 61 megawatt wind power project was backed by Norwegian private equity firm Norfund, South African asset manager Old Mutual and Sydney-based fund Macquarie.
By the time of abandoning the project, Kinangop Wind Park and its shareholders had advanced over 6.7 billion shillings of equity to meet project costs.
Kinangop Wind Park and its partners however say they remain committed to the provision of wind-generated power in the country.