kipeto wind power plant

Energy giants General Electric (GE) from the US and China National Machinery Industry (Sinomach) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for developing renewable energy projects in Sub-Saharan Africa, which includes the 102MW Kipeto wind power project in Kenya.

This marks an extension of their collaborative effort in the emerging markets to deliver energy infrastructure projects amounting to around $2bn.

GE and Sinomach have previously collaborated on multiple energy infrastructure projects across Latin America, Africa, and Asia, totalling $3bn of investment.

Under the terms of the MoU, the firms will jointly develop, invest in and finance clean energy projects under the Power Africa initiative, which was launched by the US President Barack Obama in 2013.

Combining company resources is intended to double the availability of energy in the Sub-Saharan Africa region, where more than two-thirds of the population suffers from power crisis.

Around 80% of Kenya’s population lacks access to regular electricity.

"GE aims to forge win-win collaboration model to secure long-term success across globe."

To be developed in Kajiado 80km south of Nairobi, the Kipeto wind power project is in-line with the Kenyan Government’s target for generating 2,036MW of wind power by 2030.

State-owned development finance institution Overseas Private Investment (OPIC) in the US will fund the project, and GE has already signed a deal for it with Kenya-based Kipeto Energy.

The facility will be equipped with 47 GE 1.6-100 wind turbines and 16 of its 1.6-82.5 wind turbines. It will be connected to the national power grid upon completion.

Sinomach chairman Ren Hongbin said: "Sinomach is building core strength in technology and operations to speed-up its transformation from a traditional state-owned enterprise to a truly competitive global player.

"Partnership with GE proves to be strategically valuable for our sustainable success in emerging market like Africa."

GE Greater China president and CEO Rachel Duan said: "As the partner of choice for China infrastructure exporters, GE aims to forge win-win collaboration model to secure long-term success across globe.

"GE-Sinomach collaboration will cover broad spectrum of domains to allow our partner to truly benefit from GE’s technology, global outreach and execution insights."

Image: The 102MW Kenya wind power project will feature 47 GE 1.6-100 wind turbines and 16 GE 1.6-82.5 wind turbines. Photo: courtesy of Kenya Power.