Kenya: Industrial & Commercial Bank of China reportedly withdraws financing coal plant due to social and environmental concerns
"ICBC withdraws financing from the Lamu Coal Plant"
Save Lamu has learned that the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) has decided not to finance the Lamu coal plant due to cited environmental and social risks with the project. Save Lamu has previously submitted various petitions and complaints to ICBC citing extensive environmental destruction and social risks that would be encountered once the project is operational. The 1,050MW Lamu coal plant was expected to be the largest coal plant in East Africa and first in Kenya. It was proposed to be built at Kwasasi, Lamu County. According to the project documents for the coal plant, it was expected that ICBC would finance the project at a tune of US $1.2 bn. A reliable source at ICBC has now said the bank will not make this investment.
The proposed plant is a public-private partnership (PPP), developed on a build-own-operate (BOO) basis by Amu Power, a special purpose joint venture of two Kenyan companies, Centum Investments and Gulf Energy. The recent revelation from ICBC marks the biggest big blow to the project as it was expected that the bank was funding 60% of the US$2 billion expected development costs for the coal plant. “We are very happy and grateful to hear that the ICBC will no longer fund Amu Power for the coal project. We as Save Lamu will always be there to defend its people and our environment; we don’t want a coal project in Lamu County and in Kenya at large,” said Is’haq Abubakar, Vice Chairperson at Save Lamu.