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Construction of coal powered Lamu 1,000 MW Electricity
generating plant is currently expected to commence 2024

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya will continue to invest in the generation of electricity from coal power using more advanced technologies, a government official said on Thursday.

Government Spokesperson Cyrus Oguna said the government plans to build the Lamu Power Plant with the construction of the coal plant expected to begin in 2024.

He said the coal plant would enable Kenya to have reliable and stable source of energy to drive economic growth in line with Kenya’s Vision 2030.

The Lamu Coal Power Plant is expected to become the main base-load power source to drive the manufacturing sector, part of the government’s Big Four Agenda, which aims to raise the contribution of the manufacturing sector to the economy and to create more jobs, the official said.

The plant is expected to inject 1,000 MW of electric power to add to the current capacity of 2,712 MW against the country’s industrial power need of 5,000 MW.

According to the government spokesperson, Kenya also relies on geothermal as a source of power although it takes at least seven years to complete a single geothermal station compared to the 30 months required to complete a single coal power station.

"We want to be in the league of developed countries.

"The only way to industrialize is to use coal.

"There are other countries which are industrialized but depend on coal produced from other countries," Oguna said.

The coal power plant to be located at the coastal region of Lamu, is expected to begin operations in 2027.


Green activists accuse Kenya of going against Paris climate change treaty

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- The Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) and the Kenya Platform for Climate Governance on Thursday urged Kenya to divert at least 200 billion Kenyan shillings (about 2 billion U.S. dollars) to green energy projects instead of investing in a coal-powered project in the coastal region.

"We must strive to move forward in our efforts to reach clean energy projects.

"Climate change has become a serious issue and we should be sensitive to the environment when making these investment choices," Stephen Cheboi, chairman of Kenya Platform for Climate Governance, told Xinhua.

The government has confirmed its plans to support a public-private-partnership to invest at least 2 billion dollars in a coal-powered project in Lamu.

"All we are saying is that coal is not cool.

"Coal is going to kill our people in Lamu," claimed Mithika Mwenda, executive director at PACJA.

Kenyan officials said a comparative analysis of Kenya’s energy mix reveal that only coal and geothermal can effectively drive Kenya’s industrial needs.

The mix comprises 50 percent geothermal, 28 percent hydro-electric power, 12 percent wind and solar and 10 percent of thermal or oil-powered plants.

Kenya is a signatory to the Paris Agreement, which advocates for measures to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

Mwenda said the government is going "against the grain" by allowing the investments in a coal-powered project, which would most likely increase cancer risks and diseases such as asthma.

Government spokesperson Cyrus Oguna said claims that the investment in a coal-powered project would increase threats to the environment in Lamu, including aquatic life, is not entirely true.

Oguna said while it is true that coal power generation will require more water, efforts will be made to ensure only water which has been cooled is ejected back to the ocean.

Activists said the injection of hot water from the coal generation into the ocean might threaten the lives of sea creatures due to its high temperatures.



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