Kenya Cancels Environment License of $2 Billion Coal-Power Plant

The construction of the 1050 Megawatt Lamu Coal plant| Photo by Energy New Africa

By Bloomberg

A Kenyan tribunal canceled an environment license for a planned $2 billion coal-power plant near the coastal town of Lamu, saying the developers hadn’t consulted the community.

“There was an outright disregard on the need to carry out public participation,” Chairman of the National Environment Tribunal Mohammed Balala said Wednesday in the capital, Nairobi. The developers will have to conduct a new environmental study and involve the public if they want to proceed with the project, Balala said.

“Amu Power has taken note of the concerns raised in the ruling,” the developer said in an emailed statement without giving further details.

The 1,050 megawatt project is 51% owned by Centum Investment Co. and backed by General Electric Co.’s Ultra-Supercritical Clean Coal Technology. The coal plant is part of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s strategy to increase electricity output to power the East African nation’s industrialization agenda and create jobs.

Save Lamu, a community organization, among other petitioners asked the tribunal to cancel the EIA license awarded to the project in 2016 because the plant is likely to have a negative impact on human and marine life. The petitioners said the developers didn’t consult the community during the study.

“This is a win for the environment and for the people,” Dudley Ochiel, a lawyer representing Save Lamu told reporters after the ruling.

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