Lamu Sh200bn coal-fired plant permit revoked
‘There is no resettlement action plan and there was no analysis of the impact’
The Energy Regulatory Commission has rescinded a power generation licence for the controversial Sh200 billion coal-fired power plant in Lamu county.
Environmental concerns and lack of public participation were cited. Tourism, fisheries and other stakeholders said the project would wipe out the entire ocean and land ecosystem and put many people out of work. Air pollution and other health hazards were mentioned.
The Amu Power coal plant — a consortium of Gulf Energy and Centum Investments — was to be built in Kwasasi.
On Monday, the ERC sent a revocation letter to Amu Power’s chief operations officer Cyrus Kirima.
ERC director general Joseph Ng’ang’a said Amu Power had failed to fulfil conditions to obtain the Environmental Impact Assessment licence from the National Environmental Management Authority.
Save Lamu Natural Justice complained to the ERC on October 28.
A public hearing on complaints will be held on November 24.
Amu Power has been stopped from setting up the plant until the objections are determined.
On Tuesday, 35 community groups jointly filed complaints with the Na- tional Environmental Tribunal to challenge Nema’s permit approval.
Save Lamu Natural Justice said most residents don’t understand the project. The NGO’s national liaison officer Omar Almawy on Wednesday said residents have not been given enough time to go through the 1,800-page EIA report released three months ago.
In a press statement, the group said the law was broken because “a public hearing was deliberately set up before comments were submitted.”
“There is no resettlement action plan to date and failure by the EIA report to properly analyse impact on marine life, poor analysis of other alternatives of energy and introduction of new project components in the EIA — including the 15km conveyor belt and a 2,000-acre limestone concession — is worrying,” Almawy said. Lamu leaders said residents need 90 more days to review the report.
Kisauni MP Rashid Bedzimba (in yellow T-shirt) in Mshomoro, Kisauni constituency, yesterday. Houses were destroyed by a fire suspected to have been caused by an electric fault.Bedzimba gave Sh250,000 to residents