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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. By 2019 the project was suspended.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Coal Power Plant in Lamu, Kenya
State or province:Lamu District
Location of conflict:Lamu
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Coal extraction and processing
Thermal power plants
Specific commodities:Electricity
Project Details and Actors
Project details

As reported in Capital Business, Amu Power to get Lamu Title in October, September 18, 2015, by MARGARET WAHITO.

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Project area:350
Level of Investment for the conflictive project2,000,000,000
Type of populationSemi-urban
Affected Population:50,000-100,000, maybe more
Start of the conflict:2015
Company names or state enterprises:Amu Power from Kenya
Centum Investment Group from Kenya
Gulf Energy Ltd
Power Construction Corporation of China (PowerChina) from China
International and Finance InstitutionsIndustrial and Commercial Bank of China
The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China from China
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Save Lamu
Sierra Club
UNESCO World Heritage
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Groups mobilizing:International ejos
Local ejos
Forms of mobilization:Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
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
Other Health impactsRespiratory illnesses
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Militarization and increased police presence, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place, Displacement
Other socio-economic impactsDisplacement of at least 600 landowners is looming as a large issue.
Project StatusProposed (exploration phase)
Conflict outcome / response:Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Project temporarily suspended
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain: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.
By June 2019 the project was stopped by a court decision.
Sources & Materials

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
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Capital Business, 18 Sept 2016, by Margaret Wahito
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Mediamax, Lamu coal power plant runs into headwinds, by Seth Onyango, March 08, 2016
[click to view]

Star, Work on Lamu coal plant set to begin in December, Sep. 19, 2015, by MARTIN MWITA
[click to view]

(1) QUARTZ, by Abdi Latif Dahir, June 27, 2019, the scheme to build Kenya and east Africa’s first coal plant has been stopped
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QUARTZ, by Abdi Latif Dahir, June 27, 2019, the scheme to build Kenya and east Africa’s first coal plant has been stopped

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]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Kenya: Lamu County Puts Coal-Fired Power Plant On Hold, 9 Aug. 2016, Daily Nation, by Kalume Kazungu
[click to view]

Standard, 21 July 2016, Lamu residents get 30 days to air views on coal project, by Patrick Beja.
[click to view]

From, Growing resistance to Lamu Coal Power Station, 2 May 2016
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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]

Other comments:According 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 update26/08/2019
Conflict ID:2187
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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