Building of Lamu coal plant pushed to January

The delayed construction of a 1,000-megawatt coal-fired power plant in Lamu is expected to start early next year.

Centum, which is part of the consortium owning the plant, said the contractor would move to the site early next year as the National Land Commission prepares to relocate squatters and private investors from 869 acres of public land that will host the plant.

Chief executive James Mworia said the consortium, known as Amu Power, expects to finalise debt financing agreements for the project with China’s ICBC and South Africa’s Standard Bank by early 2016.

Amu Power chief financial officer Joe Mutugu said: “We have the construction contract more or less finalised. They are ready to roll.

“We expect to begin work on site in December, and the contractor to move in from January.”

The construction of the plant in Lamu was set to start at the end of this month and be completed in June 2017.

Amu Power earlier said it would start construction once the government completes the resettlement.

The coal plant project is estimated to cost Sh210 billion ($2 billion) and its electricity will be priced in the same range as geothermal energy at 7.52 US cents (Sh7.9) per unit — almost a third of what diesel-fired plants charge.