General Electric has stepped up its investment portfolio in Africa after negotiating US$2.5 billion deals across the continent, with focus on transport, aviation, healthcare and the energy sectors.
According to GE, in Kenya it will partner with Kipeto Energy Limited to build a 100MW ‘wind farm’ in Kajaido County, with the company as the sole equipment supplier for the project.
The US$155m Kipeto project was announced during President Barack Obama’s July 24-26 visit to Kenya, and GE is expected to provide 60 high capacity wind turbines, with a 15-year service agreement.
According to a release, the deal made during the US-AfricaLeaders’ Summit in Washington DC comes in the wake of GE’s commitment made in 2014 to invest US$2 billion in Africa by 2018 to spruce up facility development, skills training and sustainability initiatives.
“GE has made significant progress against the investment commitments made last August,” said Jay Ireland, president and CEO of GE Africa. “Skills training and capacity building are critical, not only for developing African economies, but also for growing GE’s footprint in the region. We consider this a major priority.”
TheKipetoproject will be financed by Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) as sole lender to the project. OPIC is the US government’s development finance institute and is part of the Power Africa Initiative, the brainchild of President Obama.
Kipeto Energy Limited shareholders include Africa Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM), Craftskills Wind Energy International Limited, International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Maasai community of Kipeto, 50 kilometres from the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.
Meanwhile, in February this year GE was contracted by the Kenyan Ministry of Health as a key technology partner for a US$ 420m infrastructure modernization programme to transform 98 hospitals across the 47 counties in the country.
“The radiology modernisation contract awarded to GE Healthcare is the largest of seven tranches of Kenya’s ~$420 million health development plan, aimed at delivering sustainable healthcare development, in line Kenya’s Vision 2030 Plan,” the release states.
Elsewhere on the continent GE will by the end of this year begin supplying US$850 million oil and gas equipment to Eni in Ghana, and the company will also supply 100 locomotives to the Angolan National Railways (INCFA). Other GE in Africa projects include a manufacturing and assembly plant and, the biomedical equipment training (Nigeria); Graduate Engineering Training Programme (Mozambique); Garages skills building programme and a Healthcare Training Centere (Kenya) and Round 3 of the Power Africa Off-Grid Energy Challenge.
‘This third round of the challenge is open to entrepreneurs and energy companies in Uganda, Rwanda and Zambia with a sum total of up to $1.1 million in grants to be awarded. The three-year initiative has extended $5 million and 50 awards to energy entrepreneurs in eleven African countries across the Continent,’ the release indicates.