Status of engagement with investors in Lamu coal plant

Confirmed and pending investors, as of July 2020

Coal in Kenya
3 min readJun 16, 2020
  1. Centum Investments and Gulf Energy (bought by Rubis), special purpose vehicle Amu Power: In July 2019, Amu Power appealed the judgment of the National Environmental Tribunal, which cancelled the EIA licence for Lamu coal plant, indicating its intent to develop Lamu coal plant as designed in its original ESIA from 2016.
  2. Chinese bank ICBC: Lamu coal plant financier & Chinese bank ICBC is to provide about 60% overall of financing: 75% of the debt financing, itself 75% of project budget. In mid-2015 at the time of the deal, ICBC provided its own statement on Lamu coal plant. Since then, ICBC has not responded to Save Lamu’s repeated inquiries for three years: unanswered letters to ICBC from 2016 to 2019. In October 2019, Save Lamu reached out to the Chief Economist of ICBC Standard Bank, Jinny Yan, and ICBC’s Muyuan Qui, but were not put in touch with the relevant parties in Beijing. In December 2019, a youth delegation to COP 25 hand-delivered another letter to Chinese government representatives.
  3. Chinese government: Save Lamu hand-delivered letters to the Chinese Embassy three times in early 2019, culminating in an anti-coal demonstration and march to the embassy, garnering significant media coverage. Although the group was forcibly stopped by police, Save Lamu members persisted for hours and compelled the embassy to receive its letter. The ambassador then called for a meeting with selected activists and the media (account of Greenpeace, account of deCOALonize), together with potential coal plant operator and Chinese state-owned company PowerChina. PowerChina and the ambassador stated that it will follow the will of the Kenyan people but made no commitments.
  4. Remaining winning consortium member CHD Power Plant Operation Company (China Huadian Corporation Ltd) remains silent. It is contracted to provide operations and maintenance for Lamu coal plant.
  5. General Electric (GE): Full status here. GE is still considering but is not yet committed to its involvement in Lamu coal plant, despite press releases in May 2018. In February 2019, GE indicated that the project will require significant due diligence before any approval for investment, but also continued to defend the project as an advanced “clean coal” ultrasupercritical coal plant, contradicting all official project documents and litigation proceedings. In January 2020, Save Lamu sent a followup letter to GE, which is currently awaiting a response.
  6. African Development Bank (AfDB): In late 2019 AfDB stated that it will not provide financing for Lamu coal plant nor future coal plants on the continent. A “partial risk guarantee” (PRG) had been under consideration. However, there is no indication AfDB ever considered providing direct financing, contrary to incorrect reporting from project developers. Save Lamu’s letters to AfDB (and response) were initially sent in 2015.
  7. As of August 2019, the project page was taken down from the AfDB website. Its departure was regarded as a blow to investor confidence in the project, because of the widespread understanding that it was financing the coal plant (based on previous, premature news). However, Amu Power has indicated it will continue with the project despite the AfDB not providing the PRG.
  8. Standard Bank: Has indicated it is “no longer involved” in Lamu coal plant project, but may have served as the financial arranger of the project in early years, most likely for the $306 million in debt financing not provided by ICBC. There remains an open question as to who is providing that remaining debt financing.
  9. Regarding equity financing, Amu Power, Centum, and Gulf Energy have not specified the sources for the $500 million in equity financing. Media outlets in 2015–2016 reported that Amu Power requested investment from Standard Bank, AfDB, and NSSF (the National Social Security Fund).
  10. Financial intermediaries like IFC and World Bank. Report: IFC Escapes Responsibility for Lamu Coal Plant Contributions. The World Bank indicated it was not involved, despite World Bank and Kenyan government reports mentioning support for Lamu coal plant. More information available on others.



Coal in Kenya

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