Early this year, China cancelled plans to build 103 coal plants and put out a directive to bring down coal use and promote new sources of power like wind, nuclear and solar in Beijing.
Amu Power Consortium is behind the project.
Ernest Niemi, an economist and president of Natural Resource Economics, who has done studies on coal plants across the world for over 40 years, said operating the AMU power coal plant to produce electricity will be cheap for the developers but expensive as an energy source to consumers and detrimental to the society in general.
Studies across the world, he said, show that the social cost of running coal-fired power plants exceeds the economic benefits.
Emissions from the plant stacks will contain toxic gases like carbon dioxide, sulphur, mercury, arsenic and nitrous oxide, he said.
Neither does it provide reliable estimate of the carbon dioxide the project would emit and the the cost,” he said, adding that with the Sh69 billion worth of electricity the project is timed to net annually, the associated carbon emissions would result in social costs of Sh28-Sh580 billion by degrading the ecosystem.
With the wind speeds provided, what will be the touchdown of the flue gases from the stack height?” he asked, adding that the minimum and maximum temperatures at the site are 27.20C and 30.30C respectively, while the design temperatures are given as 270°C.
In spite of the fact that the project will cause many occupation health related diseases to the workers and also diseases emanating from the plant to the neighbourhood community, Musingi said the EIA had no comprehensive mitigation measures provided for the ailments.
Moreover, polluters are normally economically powerful corporations, while the plaintiffs are ordinarily citizens with low economic power,” he added.
Niemi said embracing safe and reliable renewable energy will help Kenya create jobs and cut dependency on coal or oil, saving costs on imports.

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