The delay in the completion of Lake Turkana Wind transmission has led to Kenya asking Spain to nominate a new firm to do the needful. This comes after its termination of an earlier contract awarded to a debt-ridden Spanish contractor.
Charles Keter, the Energy secretary said that since the power line receives funds from the Spanish government, Nairobi has asked Madrid to look out for a new contractor to complete works on the 428-kilometre high-voltage line started by Isolux. In July Isolux filed for bankruptcy in Spain.
“We have asked Spain for a shortlist of competent companies. The project has to be under a Spanish contractor. This is because the credit is from the Spanish government,” Mr Keter said in an interview.
“We expect to hear from them and chart the way forward,” he further added.
The total cost of the Loiyangalani-Suswa line power line is Sh15.7 billion. The line will harness electricity from the 300MW Lake Turkana Wind Power, publicized as Africa’s largest wind farm.
The government is racing to boost works on the project set upon by multiple headwinds, and avoids paying a monthly fine of $7M for failure to complete the transmission line in time with the Lake Turkana wind farm.
Kenya pulled the plug on Isolux when only 70% was complete. The Madrid-based firm bagged the tender for the power line in 2011 and Isolux were supposed to complete the job by end of 2013.
However, the delivery of the line was greatly affected by debt and liquidity challenges at Isolux parent firm. They also missed a revised completion date of October 2016. This in turn forced Kenyan taxpayers to bail out the cash-strapped Isolux.