Force Majeure was one of the biggest concepts up for discussion in 2020. In 2021, the term ‘corporate PPA’ is earning its pride of place as one of the new buzz words for the power and energy sectors in the region, with sector players critically looking at how these types of arrangements can be used to address some of the cost and supply challenges facing the region.
Our energy and natural resources lawyers deliver to our clients the focused, innovative sector advice they need, in Kenya and beyond.
We are entering an era of unprecedented demand for power generation and transmission, especially in East Africa. This dynamic, together with the challenges we all face from climate crisis, is creating new opportunities for alternative energies and new technologies.
Our energy clients receive coordinated, across-the-board coverage for their needs, including construction and projects, corporate, competition, regulatory, contractual, trading, litigation/arbitration, dispute resolution and tax issues. We understand the technical, geographical, commercial and geopolitical factors that shape the industry and have first-hand access to contacts, sponsors and decision makers.
IKM has been involved in numerous transactions pertaining to the energy sector, particularly those related to petroleum, geothermal, hydropower, solar, wind and coal. We also assist all participants in the oil and gas sector.
Experience has included advising:
- The sponsors of a USD1.8 billion energy project on the development of a 100 MW wind power plant in Kajiado, Kenya
- Senior lenders on the development and construction of a 140 MW geothermal power plant and related facilities in the Rift Valley region in Kenya and the sale of capacity and energy to the Kenya Power and Lighting Company
- An international oil and gas exploration and development company on its rights under a production sharing contract with the Kenyan government for the acquisition of on-shore exploration blocks
- Government of Kenya in a multibillion investment arbitration proceedings filed by Cortec Mining Kenya Limited at the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID)
- The government of an East African country on its oil and gas operations
- The senior lenders on a 981 MW coal-fired power plant in Lamu County, Kenya
- An international company on a grant of concessions over coal mines in Kenya
- The receivers appointed in respect of the sale of wind turbine generators and other assets from a company
- The sponsors on the financing of two 40 MW solar power projects
- Ranked Tier 1 in Projects & Privatization (The Legal 500 2019)
- Ranked Band 2 in Projects & Energy (Chambers & Partners 2019)
- Ranked in Projects & Finance (IFLR1000)
In November 2020, the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) approved an increase in electricity tariffs for consumers. It is no secret that high costs of power coupled with occasional reliability issues have forced some of the large industrial consumers, who account for approximately 54.8 percent of Kenya Power’s sales revenues, back to the drawing board in a bid to find a sustainable, affordable and reliable solution for their energy needs.
In December 2020, after a turbulent and challenging year, KPLC firmed up a return to normal programming, reporting a new peak demand of 1,976 MW.
In its 2019 ‘Africa Energy Outlook’, the International Energy Agency projects that Africa’s urban population will increase by more than half a billion people by 2040.
With a challenging economic outlook ahead, international investment into East Africa and its people is more important than ever. The energy sector is primed for such investment. In fact, it has been a focus sector for many years, as evident in the ambitious public targets and projects of countries in the region such as Kenya’s Big 4 Agenda and Vision 2030, Ethiopia’s Growth and Transformation Plan II, the development of the South Sudanese National Electricity Bill and the Ruizizi III hydroelectric power project which will provide power to Burundi, Eastern DRC and Rwanda.