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Economy

Europe advises Kenya against constructing coal-fired plant

The EU Ambassador to Kenya, Stefano Dejak. FILE PHOTO | NMG
The EU Ambassador to Kenya, Stefano Dejak. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The European Union has advised Kenya to drop plans to build its first coal-fired power plant in line with the global drive for clean energy.

The EU Ambassador to Kenya, Stefano Dejak, Tuesday said the world is shifting its focus away from coal-fired power plants.

The Energy Regulatory Commission last February overruled environmentalists’ objections to Amu Power Company’s planned 1,050 megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant in Lamu.

“Coal has fallen out of favour in the modern market, why would Kenya want to go down that route?” said Mr Dejak, citing the need for the country to focus on new geothermal, wind and solar plants.

Coal is the most polluting of the major fossil fuels and is blamed for greenhouse gases that stoke more heatwaves, floods and rising sea levels.

Amu Power, backed by a consortium that include Centum Investments #ticker:ICDC and a group of Chinese companies, was initially expected to begin construction of the coal plant in December 2015.

At 1,050 megawatts, the proposed coal plant is equivalent to 44 per cent of Kenya’s current installed power capacity of 2,400 megawatts.

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