World Bank withdraws support for Lake Turkana Wind Power project.

KENYA: After months of waiting, the World Bank has said it will not provide risk guarantees for the 310MW Lake Turkana Wind Power (LTWP) project, the biggest in sub-Saharan Africa.

The guarantees would have enabled the developers to reach financial close.

The World Bank's main concern is that Kenya would not be able to consume all the electricity. Instead, it believes the project should be brought on line in phases over ten years to keep in line with the expected increase in demand.

In reply, LTWP says it has the support of the government, the Ministry of Energy, equity investors and lenders and will press ahead without the involvement of the World Bank.

"We will proceed and very soon we will bring this to closure and finance one of the biggest wind power projects in the continent," said Gabriel Negatu, regional director of the African Development Bank, the lead arranger for the project.

According to LTWP chairman Carlo Van Wageningen, the government is investigating other possible financial guarantee arrangements.

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