A new report on the proposed Lamu coal plant in Kenya reveals that the project is a huge mistake in terms of investments, excessive power generation and electricity costs for consumers.
The report entitled The Proposed Lamu Coal Plant: The Wrong Choice for Kenya presented on the10th of June in Nairobi cautioned that the project would be ‘locking the country into a 25-year deal at a cost to consumers of more than US$9 billion, even if the plant never generates any power”.
Some of the highlights of the report which was compiled by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) include:
- Amu Power’s claims for the cost of Lamu-generated electricity are unrealistically low, based on outdated costs for the imported coal that will be burned and on overly optimistic assumptions about how much electricity the plant will generate.
- Using more realistic assumptions about future Lamu generation and coal costs, electricity from the plant could cost as much as 75 cents per kilowatt-hour (KWh), on average, during the years 2024 to 2037—more than 10 times what the plant’s proponents have claimed.
- This estimate does not include costs for port upgrades that would be required to bring coal to the plant, nor construction of the transmission infrastructure needed to distribute the power; the costs of these projects would add significantly to Lamu’s overall impact on electricity consumers and taxpayers.
The report also reaffirmed that the country doesn’t need any coal generation project, but should rather actively explore its abundant renewable resources to satisfy the likely growth scenarios.
Reacting to that release, the Kenyan government said it intends “to delay the Lamu coal-fired power plant to avoid a situation where Kenyans will end up paying for unused power if demand fails to keep up with the project’s output”.
“The coal plant will be built in the next four to five years as part of the Government strategy to delay new power over cost concerns’ said the Energy Principal Secretary Joseph Njoroge
This is a great move in this campaign which has been going on for over five years. Lamu residents, activists, scientists and other social justice groups had fiercely challenged the project, pointing out its numerous dangerous impacts in terms of people’s health, livelihoods and ecosystems.
Author: Rukiya Khamis.