Engineering company WorleyParsons is one-third of the way into its 32-month contract for the Lake Turkana Wind Power (LTWP) project, in Kenya, for which it was tasked to deliver project management services in 2014.
The project aims to supply 360 MW of reliable, low-cost wind-turbine generator capacity to the Kenyan national grid. The wind farm represents one of the biggest private investments in Kenya’s history and forms part of government’s drive to generate 5 000 MW of renewable-energy capacity by 2017.
The 160 km2 development will include 365 wind turbines with a capacity of 850 kW each, an electric grid collection system and a high-voltage substation, as well as upgrades to 200 km of existing road, an internal site road network and a 160-person self-contained village for the turbine contractor’s team.
The village, which incorporates a bank and a medical facility, will later house personnel employed for the operational phase of the project. The Kenyan government has undertaken to finance and construct a 428 km transmission line that will link to the national grid at Nairobi.
WorleyParsons’ project direc-tor and business unit manager for renewables and hydro power Tim Gaskell says the company is responsible for the LTWP’s project management, engineer-ing review and construction management services.
“We now have a full project control team in a new office in Nairobi and a full execution project management team on site overseeing health, safety, environment, community liaison and all the project’s mechanical, electrical and civil activities.
“The team is busy supervising the construction of the village, including housing, shops, medi-cal and recreational facilities, and access roads, and we expect construction on these to be completed by Christmas,” he comments.
The first consignment of 120 wind turbines has already been manufactured and will arrive by sea at the Port of Mombasa over a 12-month period from the first quarter of 2016. The parts will then be transported by road to the site, which is over 1 200 km away, with the company expecting the transport logistics to be one of their biggest challenges.
Gaskell notes: “In preparation for the delivery of the wind turbines we had to construct a 200 km access road from the national road to the site, and an additional 120 km of road between the turbines.”
In keeping with its localisation philosophy, the project management team consists of a core group of company project leaders combined with professional personnel sourced from Kenya, representing an almost equal split. “We use local people wherever possible,” says Gaskell.
WorleyParsons’ renewable-energy specialists have extensive experience across the industry and assist their customers in finding appropriate power solutions by offering comprehensive technical, project and business services. The company’s expertise spans the renewable-energy technologies spectrum, including solar (both photovoltaic and concentrated solar power), wind, bioenergy, geothermal and hydropower. The company’s renewables services cover project inception, deployment and operation to provide full asset life cycle support.