Kenyan government still intends to develop coal industry, as of 2021

Coal in Kenya
4 min readMar 20, 2021

As of 2021, major Kenyan government planning documents indicate continuing plans for coal industry development.

Least Cost Power Development Plan 2020–2040 (released 2021)

Includes coal industry development. Screens proposed Lamu and Kitui coal plants but recommends against development until 2040. Describes Kitui coal mining status and notes environmental and social concerns. (Previous LCPDPs since 2011 have included coal plans and predicted high demand growth.) LCPDP is here. Summaries as follows:

Kenya Draft 2021 Budget Policy Statement (January 25, 2021)

Document on Parliament website. Excerpts:

  • 150… the Government is committed to ensure an efficient and reliable production, transmission and distribution of affordable, clean and reliable energy.
  • 153. Going forward, the Government is set to boost power generation from the current 2,819 MW to over 6,700 MW with major energy sources being geothermal, coal, and wind, solar and hydro.
  • 230. The Sector’s Major Planned outputs during 2021/22–2023/24 MTEF Period include [plans to] drill 15 geothermal and 20 coal exploration wells…

Energy and Petroleum Statistics Report 2019

In its Statistics Report 2019, the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) noted coal mining plans in Mui Basin, Kitui: “68. To fast track exploration, development and production, the Government has decided to concession all four blocks to private companies through a competitive international bidding process,” as reported by Business Daily.

It also includes more detail: “67. The Ministry of Energy has been conducting coal exploration in the Mui Basin since 1999, covering an area of 500 square kilometers. Two promising blocks have been concessioned to a Chinese company. To ease exploration logistics, the ministry subdivided the Mui Basin into four coal blocks, A, B, C and D, measuring 121.5, 117.5, 131.5 and 120 kilometer squared, respectively. Seventy-one exploration and appraisal wells have been drilled in the Mui Basin, mainly concentrated in Block C where 56 wells were drilled to depths ranging from 75 to 445 metres. Some 32 wells have intersected coal.”

Energy Act (2019) — current

The new Energy Act included two major sections on coal:

“AN ACT of Parliament to consolidate the laws relating to energy, to provide for National and County Government functions in relation to energy, to provide for the establishment, powers and functions of the energy sector entities; promotion of renewable energy; exploration, recovery and commercial utilization of geothermal energy; regulation of midstream and downstream petroleum and coal activities; regulation, production, supply and use of electricity and other energy forms; and for connected purposes.”

98. (1) The Authority shall, in granting or rejecting an application for a licence or permit, take into consideration:
(a) the impact of the undertaking on the social, cultural or recreational life of the community;
(b) the need to protect the environment and to conserve the natural resources in accordance with the environmental, health, and maritime laws and international maritime treaties ratified by Kenya and other guidelines developed by the Authority;
© compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Act or other safety and health standards recommended by the Authority in consultation with the relevant statutory body;
(d) compliance this Act and the relevant Kenyan Standard and in the absence of such standard, any international standard recommended by the Authority in consultation with the Kenya Bureau of Standards;
(e)land use or the location of the undertaking;
(f)economic and financial benefits to the country or area of supply of the undertaking;
(g)the cost of the undertaking and financing arrangements;
(h)the ability of the applicant to operate in a manner designed to protect the health and safety of users of the service for which the licence or permit is required and other members of the public who would be affected by the undertaking;
(i) the technical and financial capacity of the applicant to render the service for which the licence or permit is required; and
(j) any other matter that the Authority may consider likely to have a bearing on the undertaking.

99. An application for a licence must be accompanied with such environmental liability policy as shall be prescribed by the Cabinet Secretary.

102. (1) The Authority may suspend or revoke a licence or permit where —
(a) the undertaking or the execution of the works related thereto has not commenced at the expiry of the period specified in the licence or permit, or at the expiry of any extended period which the Authority may allow;
(b) it is satisfied that the licensee is either not operating in accordance with the terms and conditions of the licence, permit or the provisions of this Act; or
(c) the licensee is adjudged bankrupt.



Coal in Kenya

Compiled research and news about ongoing attempts to develop a coal industry in Kenya. #deCOALonize