Kenya’s energy industry regulator has delayed issuing a license for a planned 1,000MW coal-fired power plant due to concerns about its potential environmental impact, Reuters reported. This comes after a coalition of 35 Lamu community groups launched complaints at the National Environmental Tribunal-NET to challenge the decision to grant the Lamu Coal Power plant a project license.
Amu Power Company, backed by a consortium that includes Centum Investments and a group of Chinese companies, initially expected to start construction of the $1.97b plant in December 2015. Yet, Centum’s CEO, James Mworia, said that the company had not been informed of the delay in licensing, according to The Star. While, the Energy Regulatory Commission’s Director General, Joseph Ng’ang’a, stated that the commission would hold hearings with both sides before reaching a decision.
Construction of the plant is estimated to take 30 months once it starts, and comes as a part of a plan to boost Kenya’s installed electricity generating capacity to about 6,700MW by 2017 from about 2,500MW currently. The consortium backing Amu Power includes Kenyan firm Gulf Energy and Chinese companies China Huadian Corporation Power Operation Company, Sichuan Electric Power Design and Consulting Company, and Sichuan No. 3 Power Construction Company.