Amu power is owned by Gulf Energy Limited, Centum Investment Company Limited and Chinese Sichuan Electric Power and Design. The Government of Kenya awarded them a tender to develop a 981.5 megawatt Coal-fired power plant in Manda Island, Lamu county. Construction is to start on December 7th. It did not commence in September due to a long approval process that was put in place to ensure the safety of the process. It is being built for Kenya’s Ministry of Energy and Petroleum on a build, own, operate and transfer basis for 20 to 25 years.
During the construction period, the plant will need 2000 employees on a fulltime basis. It will also offer 500 permanent jobs for the 25 years it will be in operation. It wants to give these jobs to the locals. The plant management is working with the government to take in 1000 youth from the Lamu area to the National Youth Service so that they can be equipped with skills that will be used in the construction process. The project will cost ksh. 180,000 billion and 20% will be directed into the local economy. Because of the plant, the power tariffs will reduce and hence the cost of manufacturing will be low hence which will lead to goods that the locals can afford.
There are a lot of activities that the plant are engaging in to help the community.
They do weekly delivery of fresh water and are in the process of installing up to 20 tanks that will help residents of Kwasasi, Pate, Witu, Mpeketoni, Bargoni, Makowo and other areas. During the month of Ramadhan, they donated different food items to 300 families.
They bought ice making units that will provide ice for preservation of fish for fishermen. They purchased a cold room freezer in Makowe with a capacity of 20 tonnes that businesses can use to store their catch. This is because fish is a highly perishable good and they would like to reduce wastage
More than 50 families benefited from the distribution of fishing supplies and equipment . This helped in making it easier to get food for the families and more that they could sell in order to support themselves.
In support of the local farmers, they engage with them during the planting season ritual festivals and educate them on new and efficient farming techniques.
They are building computer labs at Balgoni Primary School and are also planning to build a new school that will cater for primary and high school children.
They have shown interest in educating the young children as they fund early childhood programs in the area.
The youth are being trained and given capacity building courses that will help them develop Lamu County.
In collaboration with Ambassador Francis K Muthaura Foundation a non-profit organization they have sponsored students to further enhance their education. They wish to launch their own scholarship program in the near future.
The plant management is keen on upholding the culture of the Lamu people. They will implement a no drug/alcohol policy in the power plant which is a policy that will align with the predominant Islamic culture of the area.
They also sponsor local events for example the Maulid Festival and the Lamu Cultural Festival. Festivals like this show the culture of the Lamu people and what they can offer in terms of tourism activities and investment opportunities.
Rachael is a writer, book reader, TV series fanatic, cat person and a sarcastic friend. She writes because she likes to tell stories and give her views on most things. She also runs her own blog at http://girlsansdoubts.com