Coal Power Plant in Lamu, Kenya

The kick off the construction was planned for December, 2015. Amu Power Company would build a very large power plant fuelled with South African coal. There is local and international opposition.


The kick off the construction was planned for December 7, 2015.  However in August 2016 there were still delays.

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Basic Data
NameCoal Power Plant in Lamu, Kenya
ProvinceLamu District
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Thermal power plants
Coal extraction and processing
Specific CommoditiesElectricity
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsAs reported in Capital Business, Amu Power to get Lamu Title in October, September 18, 2015, by MARGARET WAHITO.

The Amu Power Company is optimistic that it will get the Title Deed for the land to be used for the construction of the 981.5 Megawatts coal project by the end of October 2016 (other reports are of 1050MW in three units of 350MW). The company, formed through a joint venture between Gulf Energy and Centum Investment, requires at least 870 acres of land in Lamu County for the construction of the coal plant. Amu Power Chief Operating Officer Cyrus Kirima says they are working closely with the National Land Commission (NLC) to ensure the process is smooth and completed within the given time frame. “The project will sit in about 880 acres of land. The Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) will comprehensively address the resettlement process. Education and sensitization of the project affected persons (PAPs) has been ongoing. The development of the power plant is currently on schedule and there are no delays arising from any aspects,” Kirima said. Valuation and taxation Director at the National Land Commission Salome Munubi says the commission is waiting for the RAP consultations report that will give the actual number of people to be compensated as well as resettlement options, either other land or cash. The company has already completed the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment study which is at the moment being reviewed and later to be handed to the National Environment management Authority (NEMA) for approval next month. If all goes as planned, Amu Power plans to kick off construction of the plant on December 7, 2015. It will be the largest private sector led infrastructure project in East and Central Africa.

It was reported that both Save Lamu and another group that are campaigning on the issue, Muslims for Human Rights (Muhuri), fear that the government-run National Environmental Management Authority (Nema) might not be fair with the ESIA. “We sent our comments in November last year (2015) and to date we are yet to get a reply,” said Khadija Shekuwe, the research and documentation officer at Save Lamu. The company has started a CSR campaign giving gifts.

The Lamu coal powered plant would import coal from South Africa, while there is talk of coal mining in Kenya.

Construction of the plant is expected to take 21 months and sell at 7.52 US cents(Sh7.94) per kilowatt-hour under a 25-year Power Purchase Agreement with Kenya Power, which is close to a third the cost for the diesel-fired plants. The proposed Lamu coal-fired power plant is part of the government's plans to generate 1,920MW of electricity from coal by December 2017. More electricity is being tapped from geothermal wells (1,600MW), Liquefied Natural Gas (700MW), wind (650MW) and hydro (420MW).
Project Area (in hectares)350
Level of Investment (in USD)2,000,000,000
Type of PopulationSemi-urban
Potential Affected Population50,000-100,000, maybe more
Start Date2015
Company Names or State EnterprisesAmu Power from Kenya
Centum Investment Group from Kenya
Gulf Energy Ltd
Power Construction Corporation of China (PowerChina) from China
International and Financial InstitutionsIndustrial and Commercial Bank of China
The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China from China
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersSave Lamu


Sierra Club

UNESCO World Heritage
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Groups MobilizingInternational ejos
Local ejos
Forms of MobilizationCreation of alternative reports/knowledge
Objections to the EIA
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Global warming, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Health ImpactsPotential: Other Health impacts
OtherRespiratory illnesses
Socio-economic ImpactsPotential: Militarization and increased police presence, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place, Displacement
OtherDisplacement of at least 600 landowners is looming as a large issue.
Project StatusProposed (exploration phase)
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseNew Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Do you consider this as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.As of August 2016, the project is slowly going ahead despite strong local protests - often led by women. Relatively strong support from NGOs from outside Kenya, because Lamu is a famous tourist destination.
Sources and Materials

Capital Business, 18 Sept 2016, by Margaret Wahito
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Star, Work on Lamu coal plant set to begin in December, Sep. 19, 2015, by MARTIN MWITA
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Mediamax, Lamu coal power plant runs into headwinds, by Seth Onyango, March 08, 2016
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Anthony Langat, 3 March 2016, The Guardian. Locals oppose plans to build first coal-fired power plant in Kenya. As Kenya plans to construct its first coal-fired power plant, a group of 30 community-based organisations is fighting to halt the multibillion dollar project.
[click to view]

Daily Nation, Lamu County puts coal-fired power plant on hold. Assembly demands resettlement plan for residents who will lose their land. August 10, 2016, by Kalume Kazungu
[click to view]

Media Links

Lamu Power Project

This article is part of the Coal Issues portal on SourceWatch, a project of CoalSwarm and the Center for Media and Democracy. See here for help on adding material to CoalSwarm.

Center for Media and Democracy. The Lamu Power Project is a proposed 1,050-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station in Lamu County, Kenya.
[click to view]

Kenya: Lamu County Puts Coal-Fired Power Plant On Hold, 9 Aug. 2016, Daily Nation, by Kalume Kazungu
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Standard, 21 July 2016, Lamu residents get 30 days to air views on coal project, by Patrick Beja.
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From, Growing resistance to Lamu Coal Power Station, 2 May 2016
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Other Documents

Lamu County Representative Shakila Abdalla (right), flanked by the County's Maendeleo Ya Wanawake Organisation chair Hindu Salim (2nd right), among others, adresses the media at the Island of Lamu in Lamu County on Sunday, 29th November, 2015 when she led locals in a demonstration protesting against Amu Power Company for the planned construction of a coal plant in the county, saying it was a health hazard to the locals. (PHOTO: MAARUFU MOHAMED/ STANDARD)
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Other CommentsAccording to the Sierra Club, the proposed Lamu plant does not employ the best available technology to limit pollution, and it will begin operation without Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) to reduce nitrogen oxides. The proposal is also home to the World Heritage listed Lamu Old Town. A 2015 report on the area from Unesco’s World Heritage Committee stated that “[t]here can be no doubt that a project of this scale and scope, in an area as remote and protected as Lamu, cannot help but have profound negative impacts on the heritage." Both Save Lamu and another group that are campaigning on the issue, Muslims for Human Rights (Muhuri), say they will take their concerns to court if the project is permitted.
Meta Information
Last update10/08/2016