Lamu Sh200bn coal-fired plant per­mit re­voked

‘There is no re­set­tle­ment ac­tion plan and there was no anal­y­sis of the im­pact’

The Star (Kenya) - - Counties - CHETI PRAXIDES @TheS­tarKenya

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.

/JOHN CHESOLI

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

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