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Kenya to deploy latest technology in Lamu coal power project

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Kenya will use best-in-breed clean coal technology in the proposed Lamu coal power project to reduce negative impact on the environment, Francis Njogu, the Managing Director of Amu Power Company has said.

The USD2 billion power project will be built by China Power Global.

Speaking at a media briefing in Nairobi, Mr Njogu said that the 1,050 MW power plant will operate at a 43 percent efficiency.

“This is 10- point higher than average in the world. This means that it will burn less coal to produce a unit of power as compared to conventional technology,” he said.

Mr Njogu said that coal power will help to diversify Kenya’s energy mix in order to ensure it has reliable and cost effective power supply.

Lamu Coal power plant project is being undertaken by Amu Power Company, a consortium of Gulf Energy and Centum Investment.Some 975 acres have been set aside for the project which is expected to take 40 months to complete.

Amu Power Company is currently awaiting the decision of the environmental tribunal court before it can commence actual construction of the power plant.

A Community group in Lamu is opposed to this project saying it threatens to alter their health, heritage, environment and marine system of their homeland. Lamu is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Environmentalists are of the opinion that if the project is allowed to forge ahead, not only will Kenya fail to reduce its current carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2030, as per international agreements, but will lock itself in destructive fossil fuel dependence for decades to come.

“Given the failing economics of coal, a new coal power plant in Kenya is a bad investment in a country with a favorable environment for investment in renewables,” says Vrinda Manglik a campaign representative at International Climate and Energy Campaign.

Kenyan MPs have backed the project saying it will use advanced technology to produce clean coal.

“Let’s not be discouraged by misinformation about the project. The government intends to use the most advanced technology to produce coal,” says Energy Committee chairman David Gikaria

Meanwhile, American energy firm GE Power has bought a Sh40 billion stake in the Centum-fronted 1,050MW Lamu coal-fired electricity generation plant.

The deal will see the American conglomerate allocated 20 per cent shares of Amu Power.

The fresh capital injection will be used for acquisition of plant machinery, a boiler and steam turbine generator built using GEs latest clean coal technology as well as air quality control systems

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