UK firm taps Sh7bn to refinance Lake Turkana wind farm stake loan

The Turbines of the 310MW Lake Turkana Wind Power project in Laisamis Constituency, Marsabit County

The Turbines of the 310MW Lake Turkana Wind Power project in Laisamis Constituency, Marsabit County on February 7, 2019. 

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

UK's Anergi Turkana Investments Limited, a shareholder in Lake Turkana Wind Power (LTWP) which owns a 310 megawatts wind-powered electricity generation plant in Loyangalani, Marsabit, tapped a Sh7.4 billion (50 million euros) loan to, among others, refinance a loan used to acquire an additional stake in the project.

LTWP currently has five other shareholders apart from Anergi namely KP&P Africa B.V, Danish Climate Investment Fund I K/S, Vestas Eastern Africa Limited, Finnfund — the Finnish Fund for Industrial Cooperation — and Sandpiper Ltd.

A document seen by Nation shows that the Sh7.4 billion loan deal with South Africa's Standard Bank was closed towards the end of January this year for use in, among other things, refinancing an acquisition facility that was put in place to fund Anergi's acquisition of an additional 12.5percent stake in LTWP.

A refinance occurs when the terms of an existing loan, such as interest rates, payment schedules, or other terms, are revised.
Anergi acquired the additional shareholding in LTWP from KLP Norfund Investments. 

Norfund is the Norwegian investment fund for developing countries which is funded by the Scandinavian country's government and targets four investment areas including clean energy, financial institutions, scalable enterprises and green infrastructure.

The wind farm project has in the past year witnessed increased activity in terms of investments and ownership changes. 
A fund managed by a US multinational investment company, BlackRock, is set to acquire a 31.25 per cent stake in LTWP.

The multi-billion shillings deal with be executed through United Kingdom-based Climate Finance Partnership UK Holdings Limited (CFP) incorporated four months ago on October 31, 2022.

CFP is a partnership between BlackRock and the governments of France (AfD), Germany (KFW), and Japan (JBIC) as well as several leading impact US organisations.

Epra approval

LTWP last week said it would make an application to the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority for approval of the acquisition deal.

"Subject to relevant regulatory approvals being obtained and other various condition precedents being satisfied in relation to the proposed transaction, CFP intends to partner with the existing shareholders of the company to ensure the success of the 310-megawatt wind-powered electricity generation plant at Loyangalani, Laisamis district, Kenya," said the company.

LTWP, which can power up to one million homes, entered into a power purchase agreement with Kenya Power and Lighting Company in 2009.

Under the power purchase agreement, LTWP was to finance, design, procure, construct, install, test, commission, operate, maintain, and sell net electricity output exclusively to KPLC.

KPLC on the other hand was required to evacuate all net electric power from the LTWP plant for 20 years once commissioned.

It commissioned its power plant on January 27, 2017, but the government, which built the evacuation line, did not complete the works until September 24, 2019.