WorleyParsons reported that the project delivery and engineering consultancy is nearing completion of its major scope of work on the Lake Turkana Wind Power (LTWP) Project in Kenya, with a key milestone of 120 wind turbines attaining Ready for Energisation (RFE) status in January 2017 and installation of all 365 turbines completed on 5 March in only 362 days.
WorleyParsons’ South Africa team was contracted in November 2014 by the LTWP consortium to provide overall project management, engineering review and construction management services for the Lake Turkana Wind Power Project, which will be the largest wind farm in Africa, and one of the largest in the world, when completed. The project scope included 365 wind turbines of 850 kW each, an electric grid collection system and a high voltage substation, upgrades to 210 km of existing road, an internal site road network and a 160-man self-contained permanent village. The substation, road infrastructure and village have been completed.
The wind turbines are expected to be commissioned in the last quarter of 2017 upon completion of the 428 km transmission line provided by Kenya Electricity Transmission Company.
“Despite some logistical, climatic and community challenges, we have delivered our scope of work to date for the LTWP Project within the stipulated timeframe and budget,” says Tim Gaskell, Power Business Unit Manager for WorleyParsons RSA. “We have worked closely with the customer and with the sub-contractors to address these challenges and propose workable solutions. For example, as Lake Turkana is located within a desert-like environment, it seldom rains, but flash floods do occasionally occur and the existing road designs did not factor this in. We assisted with improving the road design to cope with flooding,” says Gaskell.
“We also deployed additional people to assist local sub-contractors to adhere to the high standards required for the project. We have a strong focus on localisation and social upliftment to ensure that the surrounding communities benefit from this project, and have placed particular emphasis on health and safety awareness as most of the local workforce has not been exposed to any health and safety practices,” adds.
“Training and skills transfer is a priority on all projects and the LTWP Project has afforded us the opportunity to expose not only the local engineers from Kenya to a project of this magnitude, but also some of our junior engineers, which will stand us in good stead for future wind power projects,” says Stefan van Niekerk, WorleyParsons’ project manager for the LTWP Project.
The LTWP Project represents one of the biggest single private investment in Kenya’s history, and aims to supply 300 MW of reliable, low-cost wind turbine generator capacity to the Kenyan national grid, equivalent to about 15% of the country’s current installed electricity generating capacity.