LAMU COAL POWER STATION WILL CAUSE IRREPARABLE DAMAGE
• To human health:
• Burning coal releases toxic particulate matter into the air. These particulates cause asthma, bronchitis, cardiac disease, and cancer.i
• To fish, crops, and wildlife:
• Burning coal requires millions of gallons of water to keep the plant cool. After the water is used, the now-hot water will be released back into the ocean around Lamu. The increased temperature will harm the fish in the water and destroy the livelihood of the fishermen and the fishing industry.ii
• The particulate matter also creates acid rain, which can ruin water systems and crops, plants, and trees, and affect fish and wildlife. The nitrogen in acid rain kills fish and shellfish.iii
• And to Lamu Town:
• The particles will cause corrosion and other damage to the historic buildings and structures.iv
• Burning coal creates hazy pollution that limits visibility and could reduce tourism to Lamu.v
THE PLANT WILL CAUSE THE PRICE OF ELECTRICITY TO INCREASE
The price of electricity is directly related to the price of coal, the cost of building the plant and its infrastructure, and the capacity of the plant that is utilized. The Kenyan Government utilized historically low coal prices in its calculations and grossly underestimated the price of electricity from the Lamu Coal Plant.
1. Amu Power based its electricity price on coal costing USD $50/ton and the plant operating at 85% capacity. At USD $50/ton, electricity from the plant would cost USD 7¢ per kilowatt hour.vi
• October 2017, the price of coal was USD $85/ton and USD $90 delivered in Kenyavii
• The price of coal fluctuates. The average price of 1 ton of Australian coal in 2014 (the year of the government calculation) was USD $81 ($86 delivered). In the past six years, the price of coal has been as high as USD $135/ton.viii
2. Amu Power’s USD 7¢/kWh did not include the marginal rate to repay the loans of the full cost of the plant.
• The cost of building transmission lines to get the electricity to people in Nairobi and a train to get the coal from Kitui increases the cost of the electricity from the plant which was not included in Amu Power’s calculation.
• Once this is accounted for, electricity, with the plant running at 85% capacity, will cost USD 11.7¢/kWh. This is the same price as electricity from wind and more expensive than all other sources of electricity in Kenya except for nuclear and hydro from High Grand Falls. Download the fact sheet here