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Kenya: Court declines to stop govt. agency from approving coal plant that will allegedly cause pollution

Author: Sam Kiplagat, Daily Nation (Kenya), Published on: 3 April 2018

"Blow of residents, activists in a bid to stop sh200bn coal plant"

Environmentalists and a group of Lamu residents have suffered a blow after a judge in Malindi declined to hear a case seeking to stop the establishment of a coal plant. Mr Okiya Omtatah, supported by the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights among other bodies, wanted the court to issue a temporary order prohibiting Kenya Power, Amu Power Company and Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) from approving the Sh200 billion plant. Mr Omtatah also wanted the court to suspend the Environmental Impact Assessment Licence for the power plant until the Energy ministry produces a copy of the power purchase agreement, signed between the government and Amu...

Mr Omtatah told the court the 25-year agreement commits Kenyan taxpayers to pay about Sh36 billion per year as capacity charges for the plant. He argued that the deal was a scandal of monumental proportions, which does not make sense because there is already an overproduction of electricity in Kenya. He said geothermal, hydro, solar, wind and biomass energy have hardly been tapped, adding that there is no justification for setting up the highly polluting coal fired power plant in Lamu or anywhere in Kenya...Justice Olola said no appeal was filed against the decision, within the 30 days as required by section 26 of the Energy Act and the National Environment Tribunal was, therefore, free to proceed, as it did, to issue the licence...He also said the government largely complied with the statutory framework established for a project of such nature. This, he noted, was done through an advertisement in the newspaper notifying the public of the project.

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Related companies: Amu Power