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Investors express optimism as KPA modernize Lamu Port

Investors express optimism as KPA modernize Lamu Port

Lamu,

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

KNA by Amenya Ochieng

The Project Director, Bahari Wind Power Company, Susan Nandwa, has revealed plans to use the Lamu Port to install 22 wind turbines, which will produce 90 megawatt (MW), on a 3,206-acre land in Mpketoni’s Baharini Village.Speaking to the media today in Lamu, Susan Nandwa expressed optimism over Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) bringing in three new State- of- the Art cranes, that will aid in speeding-up service delivery at the Lamu Port.

“The three new Ship-to-Shore (STS) cranes, will reduce the logistical expense that the Bahari Wind Power Company, had projected in importing 22 new turbines,” she stated.Bahari Wind Power Company, already has a signed Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the Kenya Power.

“We are, however, calling on the National government to waive the moratorium put on all Independent Power Producers, to allow for such projects to go on,” she said, adding that it will aid in creating jobs both directly and indirectly.

The Wind Power Project is expected to create at least 1,000 jobs directly, with Ms. Nandwa expressing confidence, that with adequate support, the initiative will be a boon for the region.

The project, whose construction is still awaiting the National government to lift an energy supply moratorium on IPPs, is owned by Kenwind Holding Limited.

She further urged Parliament, to lift the moratorium it placed on energy generation and supply by Independent Power Producers (IPPs), to operate in the country.

It is expected that the Bahari Wind Power Project, will have the largest turbines in the region and is set to be the third biggest wind farm in Kenya, after 310MW Lake Turkana wind and 100MW Kipeto.

The 90MW wind farm will cost U$180 million (Sh18 billion) and will have 22 turbines, which will culminate in each turbine generating 4MW.

She further noted that the National government has already set up a good road infrastructure from the Port to the Mpeketoni area, where the project will be set-up, noting that at least 10 kilometres of a new road network will be needed from Mpeketoni town to where the Wind farm site will be set-up.

“It is inspiring to note that the government is committed to boosting investor confidence, with the County government supporting Thika Textile Mills in setting-up a Sh 100 million cotton ginnery in Sinambio area this year and a cashew nut processing plant in Hindi town,” Nandwa said.

She further noted that investor confidence has further been boosted by the strides the government was making in ensuring that Lamu is a safe place to do business and a sure destination for good return on investment as well as great potential area for socioeconomic development.

“The National government has committed a lot of resources both in terms of personnel and commitment in ensuring Lamu is a safe place for investors to come and invest in,” she added.

The Bahari Wind Power Company Senior Official also revealed that the Rapid Action Plan process that was aimed at coming-up with a formula for resettling affected farmers, was also complete with plans underway to ensure that the County and National government aid in facilitating completion of the compensation process.

The Lamu Chamber of Commerce Chairman, Ikhwan Omar, lauded the milestones being made by KPA and the National government in ensuring the Lamu Port becomes a viable logistics hub and a leading employer in the County.

He further reiterated that Lamu business community’s commitment in ensuring that the Lamu Port is put to good use, with several businesses expected to come-up as the Lamu Port continue to modernize.

Omar further noted that the Lamu Port will further enable the setting-up of Special Economic Zones around the Lamu Port area, with more investors being wooed into making use of the Port.

Al Bashayer Meat Company, an Omani-based firm, has also been intermittently scheduling the export of livestock through the Lamu Port since 2022.

The meat processing company has also acquired 100 acres of land adjacent to the Lamu Port, where it has established a holding ground for the animals for export.

Courtesy; KNA

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