At least 870 acres of land are required to actualise the Lamu coal project, the company tasked with setting up the plant has said.

Amu Power Company, a consortium of Gulf Energy and Centum Investment won the tender to set up a coal-fired power plant in Manda Bay (Lamu county) and the company is in the process of acquiring some land from Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) for constructing the power plant.

Gulf Energy MD Francis Njogu said that the land acquisition process will be completed by September this year when the actual construction is set to begin. “We intend to start actual construction after clearing the land acquisition process. We are working with relevant government officials to fast-track the process and ensure that all affected families are compensated,” noted Mr Njogu.

Once complete, the power project will add 981MW to the national grid and reduce power outages as well as the cost of electricity in Kenya significantly. It will cost around Ksh180billion with the main lenders being the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) and African Development Bank (AfDB).

The company is currently conducting an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) in accordance with section 58 of the Environment Management and Coordination Act. Amu Power has appointed Kurrent Technologies as the independent ESIA consultant to identify and assess all potential environmental and social impacts associated with the project and propose mitigation measures. The report will be shared with various stakeholders in March this year.

“We are working closely with the people of Lamu, their local leaders, regulators, governmental agencies and administrators at all levels to ensure that we comply with all laws and regulations,” Njogu said.

Amu Power Company says that the project will create jobs for the local residents as well as open up Lamu for investment. The project includes a jetty, an estate and social amenities to house the 300 workers who will see the project to fruition.

“The construction phase will create at least 1,000 jobs and we have shared the skills requirement with the government and local leaders with recommendation for courses required,” Njogu added.

To kick-start the project, the company will import coal form South Africa but once the feasibility studies on coal in Kenya are completed, it will later be sourced locally. Amu Power Company has signed a 25-year power purchasing contract with Kenya Power and the contract has been shared with Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) for approval.

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