PE-backed Kenya wind mega-project secures PPA

The 100MW power facility, supported by AIIM and the IFC, has clinched a 20-year deal with the country's main utility.

Kipeto Energy, a wind farm backed by Cape Town-based African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM), has signed a 20-year power purchase agreement with national utility Kenya Power.

The deal, which covers about 100MW of renewable energy, is part of the Kenyan government's plan to provide 70 percent of households with electricity by 2017 and universal access by 2020.

Kipeto is backed by AIIM, local developer Craftskills Wind Energy and IFC Infraventures, an arm of the International Finance Corporation that can access $150 million of World Bank money to fund early stage projects. All of these entities are providing equity to develop the facility.

Most of the debt has been committed by Overseas Private Investment Corporation , a US development finance institution that has pledged $233 million to the project. China Machinery Engineering Corporation is the engineering, procurement and construction contractor while Genera Electric will supply the wind turbines.

The announcement comes little more than six months after South African insurer Old Mutual acquired the 50 percent of AIIM it did not already own from Macquarie Group , with whom it co-founded the firm in 2000. AIIM, which manages about $1 billion, is currently investing through its $500 million African Infrastructure Investment Fund II.