By Telford Aduda
General Electric is an American multinational conglomerate corporation incorporated in New York and headquartered in Fairfield, has signed a $155 million (Sh16 billion) supply deal with Kipeto Energy, a company building a 100-megawatt wind farm in Kajiado County.
The company operates through the following segments: Appliances, Water, Oil, Energy Management, Aviation, Healthcare, Transportation and Capital which cater to the needs of Home Appliances, Financial services, Medical device, Life Sciences, Pharmaceutical, Automotive, Software Development and Engineering industries.
Jay Ireland who is the GE Africa President and chief executive officer, said the American multinational will be the sole equipment supplier for the project.
Announcing the deal on the sidelines of the Sixth Global Entrepreneurship Summit, Mr. Ireland, said the power deal “caps off a successful run of more than $2.5 billion in booked orders in the African continent across transport, aviation, healthcare and energy sectors.
“The $155 million contract will include 60 GE 1.7-103 wind turbines, as well as a 15-year service agreement,” he said.
The Kipeto wind power project will be fully financed by the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the US government’s development finance arm.
Mr. Ireland said the project is expected to contribute significantly to the installed energy capacity in Kenya.
“The funding is targeting the financial close of year 2015. We project to have the project ready by 2017,” said Mr. Deo Onyango, the GE sales director for sub Saharan Africa.
Mr. Ireland was accompanied by Elizabeth Littlefield, President and CEO of OPIC and Jack Leslie, board chairman of US Africa Development Foundation.
MS Littlefield said OPIC was privileged to sign the financing deal with Treasury secretary Henry Rotich.
“We have committed $100 million to $200 million which will be used to support other projects including small and medium enterprises,” she said.
Kipeto Energy Limited (KEL), initially founded by Kenya-based Craft skills Wind Energy International Limited, seeks to produce clean electricity at its Kiserian base, becoming the second largest wind farm in Kenya after the Turkana Wind Farm that targets to produce 300 megawatts.
KEL is majority-owned by US-based General Electric with the World Bank Group’s investment arm IFC and a community trust its other shareholders.
The high cost of power in Kenya has frequently been cited as one of the reasons local goods are not competitive in the global market.
On Tuesday, officials said the development of Kipeto – together with the ongoing upgrading of Turkana Wind Project, a number of small hydro’s and geothermal plants – would slash Kenya’s power cost from 18 US cents (Sh15) per kilowatt hour to just eight cents (Sh7).
Under the Kipeto Wind Energy Project, General Electric will construct a new on-site substation and a 66 kV line to transmit the generated electricity to the national power grid.