Kenya wind farm the ‘testing ground’ for $2bn ‘new formula’ energy deal between US, China firms

General Electric and state-owned Chinese firm to partner in project that falls under Obama’s Power Africa plan as rivals tag team.

GENERAL Electric Co. and Sinomach of China have agreed to build energy infrastructure projects valued at $2 billion in emerging markets, beginning with a wind farm in Kenya.

They will jointly develop the 102-megawatt Kipeto wind power unit as the pilot project for the collaboration in clean energy, the companies said in a statement.

The project is in the Kajiado county, 80 kilometers (50 miles) south of the Kenyan capital of Nairobi.

GE and the Beijing-based state-owned enterprise also known as China National Machinery Industry Corp. have signed a memorandum of understanding to develop and finance clean energy projects under Power Africa.

The initiative was founded by US President Barack Obama in 2013 and aims to support the growth of electricity access in the Sub-Saharan region.

“Partnership with GE proves to be strategically valuable for our sustainable success in emerging market like Africa. It clearly outlines a new formula for US-China collaboration in third country market,” said Ren Hongbin, chairman of Sinomach.

The Kipeto wind project will be connected to the national grid once complete. Kenya has an electricity access rate of about 23%, according to World Bank data.

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