The kick off the construction was planned for December 7, 2015. However in August 2016 there were still delays. By 2019 the project was suspended.
The Lamu County Assembly rejected an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) report by investors on the coal-fired power plant. The assembly wants the project owners to come up with a resettlement plan for residents who will lose their land to the project. The plant is to be set up at Kwasasi in Hindi by Amu Power Company. So far, 600 land owners expected to be affected. (Daily Nation 10 Aug. 2016). Amu Power Company, which was formed by Gulf Energy, Centum Investments and Power Construction Corporation of China, had planned the 981.5-megawatt plant – Kenya's first ever coal project. Lamu coal-fired power plant is part of the government's plans to generate 1,920MW of electricity from coal by December 2017.
The conflict - Nr 1. Kenya has no coal and wish to import from South Africa. Using foreign coal Instead of sun, wind energy just because is cheaper; - 2. Lamu Area is a untouched nature paradise, the population lives from soft tourism, fishing and agriculture which can be totally destroyed by the pollution caused by a coal plant.- We also fear the desalination system from the water cooling destroys the rich see life and the fine particle in the air which can effect the health of the population.
3. Locals does not want the project but they was not asked or informed, which is against the Kenya Constitution.
The construction will be built by Chinese, no trust in the environmental safety.
5. The local governance has no power against the multinational powers 6. The local activists tried to inform the population and call for opposition, but they have been drilled by the police.
Amu faced intense hostility from activists who claim pollutants generated from coal combustion have profound effects on the health of local communities and should not be allowed in Lamu. Save Lamu, a community-based organisation, leads residents in mounting pressure on the county government to halt the project, thus throwing the Sh200 billion plant into doubt. According to an article in The Guardian, the organisation has already presented Lamu Govenor Issa Timamy with a signed petition to stop the project. The county’s head of health, Mohamed Abubakar, is hopeful that an environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) will lay out how Amu Power will mitigate against the damaging effects of the plant.
By 2019, a court decision stopped the project, for the time being.(2019).