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Kenya’s long-stalled Lake Turkana power line completed [free access]

September 5, 2018

Recently, the Kenyan Ministry of Energy announced that the long-stalled Loiyangalani–Suswa transmission line has finally been completed. However, the line will only begin to supply power to the country’s national grid in December 2018.


The project involved the construction of a 428-km-long, 400 kV power line from Loiyangalani to Suswa to evacuate power from an upcoming 310 MW wind farm in Turkana being developed by private equity company Lake Turkana Wind Power. It is one of the longest 400 kV lines to be built in Africa.


The wind farm was completed in 2017, but was kept inactive until the commissioning of the line. Land compensation disputes had delayed the completion of the line, which was earlier scheduled for commissioning in January 2017.


Initially, Kenya Electricity Transmission Company Limited (KETRACO) awarded the line contract to Spain-based Isolux Corsan in June 2011, with expected completion by end-2013. However, debt and liquidity challenges at the company’s parent firm greatly affected delivery of the line. In January 2018, KETRACO awarded a KES9.6 billion contract to a Chinese consortium—comprised of power equipment developer and supplier NARI Group Corporation, and Power China Guizhou Engineering Company—for the completion of the line.