A judge in Malindi, Kenya has declined a case regarding the establishment of a coal plant. A group of Lamu residents and environmentalists are concerned about the order.
Mr. Okiya Omtatah is keen on the issuance of a temporary prohibiting order for the Sh200 billion approval given for the plant by Kenya Power, Amu Power Company and Energy Regulatory Commission
He also said that until the Energy ministry produces a copy of the signed Power Purchase Agreement between Amu and the government, the court should suspend the Environmental Impact Assessment license for the power plant.
He also enquired about the loan and guarantees details given in the agreement and wanted the court to find out the circumstances on which the license for the plant was issued, but the ERC director general has declined to issue the same. The deal was to generate 1,050 MW of coal-fired power plant in Manda, Lamu County, between government and Amu.
He said that the government or other power generating players should tap other renewable sources like geothermal, hydro, solar wind and biomass. He pointed out that there is potential among these sources of energy as they have been hardly tapped. He cited the same reason to stand against the justification of allowing a thermal power plant to be set up.
The Attorney General has asked the court to dismiss the case. The judge has said that it is satisfactory in such a case, where the law provides for a procedure to be followed, the parties are bound to follow the procedure before they can invoke the jurisdiction in this court.
In the end, he also said that the complaints raised by the petitioner herein his view ought to have been raised as an objection after the public was notified of the application for the license through the advertisement in the newspapers.
Justice James Olola said that Save Lamu, a non-governmental organization has lodged an objection against the issuance of the power generation license by the ERC, but the case was dismissed by the commission in a decision published in a gazette notice dated February 24, 2017.