The Lamu coal power plant is planned for construction on Kenya’s coastline, 20km from Lamu Island and its historic Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site and the oldest and best-preserved Swahili settlement in East Africa.
If completed, the plant would become Kenya’s single largest pollution source, more than doubling the country’s carbon emissions, and the toxic pollution from coal and ash would pose serious health risks to the surrounding communities. The plant would lock Kenya into high-carbon electricity generation for at least 30 years, when the country has abundant solar, geothermal, and other energy resources that are now cheaper than coal. In addition, the plant poses risks to Lamu’s marine environment, and many fear will harm its two most vital industries: fishing and tourism.
Standard Bank, the Equator bank which is widely reported to have co-financed the plant, is also the current head of the Equator Principles Association Steering Committee, which coordinates the administration, management and development of the Principles. The bank recently denied that it is involved in the project, despite having previously reported itself that it has concluded the loan agreement.
Update: On October 16, Standard Bank confirmed that they will not fund the proposed Lamu coal-fired power plant. The bank stated that reviewed its opportunity to finance this project, but decided not to do so.