Actis closes finance deal for Kenya's Kipeto Wind power

The private equity firm snaps an 88 percent in Kenya's second largest wind farm.

UK-headquartered private equity firm Actis has acquired the equity interests of both the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM) in the Kipeto Wind Power project, making it the largest shareholder in Kenya’s second largest wind farm.

The Kipeto project is now funded by equity from Actis, giving it an 88 percent share in the project, and Kenyan company Craftskills Wind Energy International, holding the remaining 12 percent, alongside senior debt from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the US Government’s development finance institution.

Kipeto, which is located in Kajiado county, is the country’s second largest wind farm that will supply 100MW of clean energy to the national grid.

The deal will now see the complete exit of the IFC from the project originally developed by Wind Energy International, with support from US multinational Craftskills conglomerate General Electric.

AIIM and IFC co-developed the project with Craftskills from 2014 until early 2018, executing a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement with Kenya Power and Lighting in 2016. 

The project is now preparing for the construction of 60 GE 1.7-103 wind turbines and a 17km (220KV) transmission line to carry the power to Isinya substation in Kajiado County, providing power to the equivalent of approximately 40,000 homes in the region.

It is anticipated that more than 400 job opportunities will be created during the construction phase of the project and an additional 70 permanent jobs during the operational phase.

Dr. Kenneth Namunje, the director of Craftskills and chairman and director of Kipeto Energy Limited, said land acquisitions are complete with the close collaboration of the local community.

“We have leased and secured more than 60 plots within the project area for the wind turbine footprint and the transmission line through voluntary participation of land owners, which is a first for any project of this kind in Kenya, and we’re constructing new houses for the families outside the project’s 500m buffer zone, so local buy-in has been a vital component,” said Kenneth in a statement.