NOT THE END

Blow to Sh21bn wind project as Lamu MCAs scrap it

Assembly said investor failed to meet some conditions, causing chaos, confusion and displacements

In Summary
  • Wednesday, Bahari Ward MCA Anthony Njomo said the project had failed to fully meet all requirements and had to be cancelled.
  • The wind project was to be undertaken by Baharini Wind Power, a consortium of Belgian firm Elicio Company and Kenyan firm Kenwind Holdings Limited Company.

A wind power plant in Kenya. .
WIND POWER: A wind power plant in Kenya. .
Image: COURTESY

@ppcheti

The Lamu County Assembly has unanimously voted to kill a planned Sh21 billion wind power plant for failing to meet standards.

It wants all acquired land, more than 3,000 acres, returned to the original owners.

 
 
 

The wind project was to be undertaken by Baharini Wind Power, a consortium of the Belgian firm Elicio Company and the Kenyan firm Kenwind Holdings Limited Company.

The investor already acquired 3,206 acres at Baharini area in Mpeketoni, Lamu West. The project is expected to generate 90MW.

The assembly action is not expected to be the end of the story as investors are expected to seek legal recourse and dispute the assembly's decision on unmet conditions. Other actors are also involved.

Presenting the motion on the floor of the house on Wednesday, Bahari MCA Anthony Njomo said the project had failed to fully meet all requirements and thus had to be scrapped.

On July 22, 2015, the assembly had approved the project on condition it met all requirements including renewal of the National Environment Management Authority (Nema) Environmental Impact Assessment licence.

The project was not to overlap any other land legally surveyed for different economic purposes. Land was to be acquired through the National Land Commission with approval of the county government for not more than 25 years.

The project Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) was also to be approved by the county assembly with or without amendment, with the approval only allowing for wind power generation, among other conditions.

 
 

However, Njomo said the Kenwind Power Project has failed to comply with some conditions resulting in confusion, chaos and displacements among the surrounding communities and landowners

He said the land where the investor intends to resettle those displaced by the project has already been surveyed and is owned by residents. Therefore, it is not available.

The MCA also said the investor was directly involved in the resettlement action plan instead of allowing SGS Kenya to work independently and as a result it influenced the outcome of the process.

SGS is a global inspection, verification, testing and certification company.

MCAs said they want the land identified for the project demarcated and given back to the owners.

“I therefore prevail on the house to nullify the project approval for failure to meet some of the required conditions as per the motion approved by this house on July 22, 2015. I also urge the house to compel the Lamu County Government through the Land and Physical Planning department to demarcate, survey and issue title deeds to the people affected in the said land that was meant for the project," Njomo said.

A Resettlement Action Plan had already been set in motion by the investor in December last year. The process was expected to take four months.

In February, the project was approved after Kenya Power signed a 20-year Purchase Agreement, a PPA, signifying the project's viability.

The wind project was to include as many as 38 turbines with a total 90MW capacity. They were to be constructed  at Baharini Village, 40 kilometres from the Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopia Transport (Lapsset) Corridor project in Kililana.

(Edited by V. Graham)