Electricity supply from Lamu Power Plant could cost more than originally estimated

Construction of the plant on the Kenyan mainland opposite the tourist island of Lamu was scheduled to begin in 2015
Kenyan activists reject the governments idea to construct coal-fired Lamu Power Plant
Activists march on June 5, 2018 in Nairobi, carrying placards bearing messages to denounce plans by the Kenyan government to mine coal close to the pristine coastal archipelago of Lamu, on World Environment Day. – Kenya is set to build a 981.5 megawatt (MW) coal-fired thermal electricity-generating plant in the Manda Bay area, Lamu County, even as costs of renewable energies are falling dramatically and fuelling a push to phase out coal power generation around the world. (Photo by TONY KARUMBA / AFP)

Electricity from a coal-fired power plant to be named Lamu Power Plant due to be built in Kenya by a Kenyan-Chinese consortium will cost consumers up to 10 times more than planned. Construction of the plant on the Kenyan mainland opposite the tourist island of Lamu was scheduled to begin in 2015 but has been repeatedly halted, due in part, to opposition by environmentalists.

Amu Power, a consortium comprising Kenya’s Gulf Energy and Centum Investment and a group of Chinese companies, is due to building the plant after winning the government contract. The Plant’s backers say it will help tackle Kenya’s frequent blackouts by increasing generation capacity by nearly a third and generating power that would cost about half what consumers currently pay.

Your Friends Also Read:  South Africa Elections: Cyril Ramaphosa and what the future of business holds

But opponents say those costs are much higher than projected. Amu Power says electricity from the plant will cost 7.2 U.S. cents per KWh. But that is “highly optimistic,” the U.S.-based Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis said in an independent study, which is the most extensive so far on the plant’s cost. It said the 1000-MW coal-fired plant’s 25-year power purchasing agreement would cost consumers more than $9 billion, even if it does not generate any power.

Activists march in Nairobi, to denounce plans by the Kenyan government to mine coal close to the pristine coastal archipelago of Lamu
Activists march on June 5, 2018 in Nairobi, carrying placards bearing messages to denounce plans by the Kenyan government to mine coal close to the pristine coastal archipelago of Lamu, on World Environment Day. – Kenya is set to build a 981.5 megawatt (MW) coal-fired thermal electricity-generating plant in the Manda Bay area, Lamu County, even as costs of renewable energies are falling dramatically and fuelling a push to phase out coal power generation around the world. (Photo by TONY KARUMBA / AFP)

Related: Kenya’s Lamu Island gets investment ready with infrastructure projects worth $27 billion

“The true costs of Lamu’s electricity during the years 2024 through 2037 could average as high as US 22 to US 75 cents per KWh — three to 10 times the company’s 2014 projection,” the study noted. “We believe Kenya should cancel the project.” The study said the plant’s backers had underpriced coal imports and rising operational and maintenance costs.

Your Friends Also Read:  Ethiopian Airlines to Resume Flights into Tigray Region

Joseph Njoroge, principal secretary at the Ministry of Energy, says the plant was competitive but did not address specific concerns. The plant’s location on the mainland in the coastal Lamu County region is about 14 km from Lamu Island, a famous ancient Swahili settlement and UNESCO World Heritage site and a top tourist destination.

Environmentalists say the plant will pollute the air, destroying mangroves and breeding grounds for five endangered species of marine turtles, fish and other marine life. In 2018, a Kenyan court suspended the project for a second time, sending the dispute back to an environmental tribunal. It is expected to issue a decision later this month on whether the project can go ahead.

Your Friends Also Read:  Rebels Attack Southern Burundi, Kill 15

Related: To tackle financial crime, Kenya is withdrawing its old 1,000 shilling version


All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from News Central TV.

Contact: digital@newscentral.ng

Total
0
Shares

Leave a Reply

Previous Article
Nigeria's Parliament elects Ahmad Lawan as Senate President, others

Nigeria's Parliament elects Ahmad Lawan as Senate President, others

Next Article
Rwandan president, Paul Kagame meets Ali Bongo in Gabon

Rwandan president, Paul Kagame meets Ali Bongo in Gabon

Related Posts