Kenya: Lamu economy including fishing, tourism & agriculture threatened if Amu Power gets approval to establish coal plant, includes company response

The local economy in Lamu, driven by informal jobs in fishing, tourism and agriculture is face threat should Amu Power's proposed coal plant is given the green light. The Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Amu Power to respond to these allegations. The full response in included. 

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Company response
17 April 2018

Amu Power's response

Author: Amu Power

"Lamu coal-fired plant will accelerate local and regional growth while conserving the environment and driving socio-economic impact"

…We acknowledge that the environmental concerns raised by the community and the various stakeholders are genuine…Lamu Coal Fired power plant will comply with all mandatory requirements applicable to Health, Safety and Environmental laws and regulations in Kenya as well as the environmental and social safeguards stipulated by the African Development Bank, the International Finance Corporation and the World Bank Group.

…The project will directly and indirectly create jobs through its initial 200 billion investment that will go into the development phase as well as another set of jobs during execution as well as the through the plant’s value chain

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Article
17 April 2018

Livelihoods in Lamu could be compromised if govt. approves Amu Power's proposed coal plant, says columnist

Author: Jacqueline Kubania, Daily Nation (Kenya)

"At what cost will Lamu coal power plant be to Man and sea?"

Kenya is about to make an important decision about...[Lamu town's] future. On the one hand, the country has an option to stick to its renewable energy resources and abide by the Paris Agreement of 2015 that committed countries to reducing carbon emissions in order to arrest and eventually reverse the debilitating effects of climate change. And, on the other hand, the country, already an East African powerhouse, is chomping at the bit, raring to exponentially grow its industries and transition into a middle-income economy by the year 2030. And, to do this, the people who wrote the country’s development blueprint believe Kenya must turn its back on the climate change agreement it signed and fire up a coal power plant that will meet the energy needs of its future.And Lamu archipelago, the lovely Unesco heritage site on the shores of the Indian Ocean, is at the grand stage where this big economic revolution is supposed to be powered from...

...But even though many residents cannot fully articulate the effects that the coal plant might have on the island’s environment, some have listened to enough anti-coal activists to worry about what will happen to their livelihoods once the plant is in operation. Ali Msuo is a veteran fisherman who has worked this trade since the colonial government was in power. At 72, he is still sprightly and light on his feet, able to make elegant dives to the bottom of the ocean to fish for lobster.He catches them with a hand-held net or a spear. You have to be fast. Ali is fast. And has decades of experience. But like so many fishermen in and around the Lamu archipelago, this father of 12 has noticed that the ocean is not as bountiful as before, and that it takes longer time and greater distances to catch even a fraction of what he used to...The fear is that the coal plant will make things worse, killing the little that’s left and making it difficult for fish repopulation in the region.

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Article
26 February 2018

Kenya: The first coal plant in Lamu backed by China triggers concerns over environment and livelihood, project frozen pending the outcome of court

Author: Somini Sengupta, New York Times

…Kenya could soon get its first coal-fired power plant, courtesy of China. The plan’s champions, including senior Kenyan officials, say the plant will help meet the country’s fast-growing demand for electricity and draw investment. Its critics worry that it will damage the area’s fragile marine ecosystem, threaten the livelihoods of fishing communities and pollute the air. The battle over the project, which is frozen pending the outcome of a court case…

… The plan embodies a contradiction of Chinese global climate leadership: The country’s huge coal sector is turning outward in search of new markets as coal projects contract at home. A Chinese multinational is tapped to build the $2 billion, 975-acre project, and a Chinese bank is helping to finance it. It represents a test for Kenya as well. While its leaders describe the Lamu plant as a source of cheap, reliable electricity, the country is also seeking to become a renewable energy hub, …and a promise to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2030. Coal could upend those goals. …

A lawsuit by a local group, filed in November 2016 in Kenya’s National Environmental Tribunal, has stopped construction in its tracks. … In court documents, the national environmental management authority, a semiautonomous agency within the Environment Ministry that reviews the impact of development projects, said it had approved the proposal. It maintained that “all environmental concerns were considered and mitigation measures were recommended,” and asked that what it called the “misconceived” lawsuit be dismissed. … 

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Article
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Author: Somini Sengupta, New York Times

…由于中国的帮助,肯尼亚不久将会有自己的第一个火力发电厂。…项目的支持者…肯尼亚高级官员…说,发电厂将有助于满足该国快速增长的电力需求,还会吸引投资。项目的批评者担心,发电厂会破坏该地区脆弱的海洋生态系统,威胁渔业社区的生计,污染空气。这个项目目前处于冻结状态,正在等待法庭审判的结果。…

该项目代表着中国作为全球气候变化领导者的一个矛盾:随着国内煤炭项目的减少,中国庞大的煤炭行业正在海外寻找新市场。一家中国跨国公司被选中来建设这个耗资20亿美元、占地975英亩(约合4平方公里)的项目,一家中国银行正在帮助提供资金。这个项目也是对肯尼亚的一种考验。肯尼亚…承诺到2030年将温室气体排放量减少30%。煤炭可能会颠覆这些目标。

当地一个团体在2016年11月向肯尼亚国家环境法庭…提起诉讼,导致电厂的施工突然停止。…在法庭文件中,负责评估开发项目的影响的国家环境管理机构称其批准了该项目。该机构称“考虑了一切环境问题且推荐了减轻影响的措施”,并请求驳回它所说的“错误”诉讼。…

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Author: Somini Sengupta, New York Times

…由於中國的幫助,肯尼亞不久將會有自己的第一個火力發電廠。 …項目的支持者…肯尼亞高級官員…說,發電廠將有助於滿足該國快速增長的電力需求,還會吸引投資。項目的批評者擔心,發電廠會破壞該地區脆弱的海洋生態系統,威脅漁業社區的生計,污染空氣。這個項目目前處於凍結狀態,正在等待法庭審判的結果。 …

該項目代表著中國作為全球氣候變化領導者的一個矛盾:隨著國內煤炭項目的減少,中國龐大的煤炭行業正在海外尋找新市場。一家中國跨國公司被選中來建設這個耗資20億美元、佔地975英畝(約合4平方公里)的項目,一家中國銀行正在幫助提供資金。這個項目也是對肯尼亞的一種考驗。肯尼亞…承諾到2030年將溫室氣體排放量減少30%。煤炭可能會顛覆這些目標。

當地一個團體在2016年11月向肯尼亞國家環境法庭…提起訴訟,導致電廠的施工突然停止。 …在法庭文件中,負責評估開發項目的影響的國家環境管理機構稱其批准了該項目。該機構稱“考慮了一切環境問題且推薦了減輕影響的措施”,並請求駁回它所說的“錯誤”訴訟。 …

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