A Kenyan coal power project threatening to destroy a UNESCO world heritage site
Lamu is a planned supercritical 1050MW coal power plant in Lamu Country, Kenya.
This project is sponsored by Amu Power, a consortium which includes:
- Gulf Energy (developer and co-sponsor)
- Centum Investment (co-sponsor)
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Threat to UNESCO world heritage site and communities
If built, the Lamu coal power plant would be Kenya’s first – most of Kenya’s power comes from renewable sources. It would take Kenya in the opposite direction of most countries, when most countries are trying to transition to a low carbon economy.
This project has raised concerns regarding waters being discharged which would damage marine ecosystems including mangroves and coral, in turn harming the livelihoods of fisherman, craftsman and builders. It has also raised concerns about air pollution and the pollution of groundwater.
No Environmental Licence
On June 26, 2019, the National Environment Tribunal (NET) cancelled the license issued by the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) approving the environmental impact assessment for the proposed plant. The tribunal found that NEMA had not properly ruled that NEMA had breached its own procedures, did not properly informed the public about the possible ill-effects of the coal power plant, and did not follow a proper process of public participation. It also found that there was missing detail about the pollution from coal, dust and ash the plant would produce.