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Lamu coal plant gets boost as court case flops

Lamu residents during demonstrations against the Sh200 billion coal plant to be established in Hindi. Activist Okiya Omtatah had petitioned the court to stop the project. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Lamu residents during demonstrations against the Sh200 billion coal plant to be established in Hindi. Activist Okiya Omtatah had petitioned the court to stop the project. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The High Court has dismissed a suit seeking to block the multi-billion shilling Lamu coal mine.

Justice J. Olala in a ruling last week said he was satisfied that the government and all other agencies involved have ‘by and large complied with the statutory framework established for a project of this nature’.

Activist Okiya Omtatah wanted the project stopped on claims that there was not enough public participation and the environment impact assessment was inadequate.

The judge noted that Mr Omtatah ought to have appealed to the Environmental Tribunal before moving to court, rejecting the activist’s argument that the tribunal was not independent.

Mr Omtatah had claimed that the 25-year agreement in the power generation deal commits taxpayers to pay about Sh36 billion per year as capacity charges for the plant noting that the Lamu coal powered power plant is a scandal of monumental proportions that does not make sense as there is already an overproduction/oversupply of electricity in Kenya.

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