General Electric Reconsiders Lamu Coal Plant Investment After Special Appeal

US firm General Electric (GE) is reconsidering its decision to invest in the controversial Sh200 Billion Lamu coal power plant project.

This comes after 56 institutional and individual investors with $713 billion (Sh71.3 trillion) in assets under management asked General Electric to pull out.

Back in May, GE had agreed to purchase stake worth Sh40 billion in Amu Power, the Centum Investment-Gulf Energy consortium behind the project.

The deal was, however, subject to regulatory, board and lender approval. 

GE was to manage the plant and provide new steam turbines and boilers for the plant that has faced stiff opposition from Lamu residents and environmental activists.

[caption caption="Lamu residents protesting against the coal power plant"][/caption]

The investors who reached out to GE noted that the investment would not be in line with the company's stated support of the 2015 Paris Agreement and their public position on climate change.

 As You Sow president Danielle Fugere and Proxy Impact chief executive Michael Passoff wrote on behalf of the investors to GE Chief Executive John Flannery.

They noted that the plant would release toxic pollution into the air and leave behind ash capable of contaminating groundwater supplies.

Professor Daniel Kammen, Director of Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley welcomed the move noting that Kenya needed greater investment in renewable energy to create jobs.

"This decision opens the door for what Kenya really needs, investment and partnership to take advantage of the geothermal, wind (on- or off-shore) energy resources that are both cheaper than coal in the long run, and provide greater job creation," he stated.

[caption caption="General Electric CEO John Flannery"][/caption]