Lamu,KENYA:The Sh.21 Billion wind power project in Baharini area of Mpeketoni division in Lamu west is set to finally kick off after the ERC issued the long awaited Commercial Operations Date-COD.
The project is now set to commence in January 2021 and 2022 respectively.
The move opens a ray of hope for land owners whose lands were acquired years ago for the establishment of the project to be compensated after waiting for ages.
The Wind Power Project is under full sponsorship of the Baharini Wind Power Company, a consortium of Elicio Company which is a Belgium firm in coordination with a Kenyan firm-Kenwind Holdings Limited Company.
There has been a standoff in the implementation of the project between investor and the ERC over the issuance of the COD with regulatory body initially proposing to have the Power Purchase Agreement-PPA for the 90MW Wind project divided into two where 50MW and 40MW would be generated by different plants though at the same site.
Baraka FM has however established that ERC had finally given its nod for the project to kick off by issuing the much awaited COD.
Speaking in Lamu on Tuesday,the Baharini Wind Power Project Director Susan Nandwa said she was glad that the project can now be financed as a single project just like the PPA provides for.
“We couldn’t agree with the initial proposal by the ERC to divide the PPA into two since that wouldn’t have been viable.But we are glad the ERC has now given us the greenlight to proceed through the CODs. We can now finance it under one PPA,”said Nandwa.
She said they were now keen on meeting land owners at Baharini area to agree on how the lands acquired for the project can be formally leased so as to avert any possible future squabbles and also allow for the smooth commencement of the project.
“We have witnessed projects failing to take off due to disagreements. We want to iron out any loose ends so that we commence on a positive page with all those involved.We are also looking forward to a formidable relationship with locals and leaders.As part of our corporate social responsibility,we also want to be part of Lamu’s future by putting up more good schools, hospitals and other crucial amenities,” said Nandwa.
Farmers whose lands have been acquired for the project have been waiting for compensation since 2011 but are now optimistic that the situation would soon come to an end with the ERC move.
“At least we shall be given our compensation so we can pursue developments. God knows we have been patient,” said Jackline Wareri.
The initial project plan includes up to 38 turbines and 90MW capacity to be constructed within the 3,206 acre land at Baharini which is located about 40km from the new Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor project at Kililana.
The wind project is also expected to help power up the new Sh.2.5 Trillion Lamu port Lapsset which will definitely massive tons of power to run once ready.