Pro-coal arguments from developers and government officials

With regard to coal mining in Kitui, many statements by Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu:

Kalonzo Musyoka as far back as 2008:

Gulf Energy CEO Suleiman Shahbal:

“Then there is the 1050 Megawatt Coal based power plant. This will bring in new industries and create much needed business and employment opportunities… Either we make that difficult choice and use the cheaper coal and create those jobs — or spend another 20 years dreaming of industralisation and job creation.

“Chemicals can be deadly if used in excess. For example, 500mg of paracetamol (Panadol) will cure you, but 5,000 grams will kill you. That is the logic of chemistry. The same logic applies to all emissions from a coal plant, whether it be sulphur, carbon-dioxide or nitrogen.”

Remarks of Lamu coal plant main investor Centum director Chris Kirubi in 2015:

Sanjay Gandhi, Lamu coal plant ESIA author and Amu Power press relations spokesman:

In 2016, early in the project planning, Deputy President William Ruto campaigned vocally for the project and criticised opponents. He advised local leaders to “seek information” and “avoid scaring away investors” and criticised “leaders who use misinformed propaganda to sway the public’s opinion concerning mega development projects intended to benefit the county,” according to reporting.

In June 2019, the Government of Kenya held a press briefing focused on Lamu coal plant to convey that the government intends to pursue the project. Col. Cyrus Oguna, government spokesman, from Ministry of Information, Communications, and Technology:

For years, Energy Cabinet Secretary Keter has also defended Lamu coal plant, though he has also recognised the most likely scenario. When his ministry back-burnered Kenya’s 5000 MW energy plan and acknowledged that demand has not grown as it predicted, CS Keter admitted that excess energy supply would push up costs and render plants idle:

In January 2020, CS Keter again defended the Lamu coal plant project. When asked “Is the project ongoing? Was it stopped?” he responded (among other more difficult to decipher points) that Kenya is already “in conformity with COP 20” in which countries pledged that 70% of electricity supply be renewable:

Immediately after taking over the agency after the sudden departure of his predecessor, shifting from his role as Director of Renewable Energy, Energy Regulatory Commission (now EPRA) director Pavel Oimeke said in an interview in January 2017:

Government press conference advocating coal industry development in June 2019

Government position in calling for AfDB support for Lamu coal plant

The Proposed Lamu coal plant: A Case for Replacing Expensive Diesel Thermal Plants and High Emissions Biomass: PDF here

Amos Cheptoo, Advisor in Kenya ED office to AfDB

As presented in May 2018 at civil society meetings.



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Coal in Kenya

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