Lamu Port

From Global Energy Monitor

Lamu Port is a proposed port for Manda Bay, Lamu County, Kenya.


The map below shows Manday Bay, Kenya, the approximate location for the port.

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The project is part of the Lamu Port and Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport Corridor (LAPSSET), which is expected to provide a gateway to the Horn of Africa region. LAPSSET would include building a port in Lamu's Manda Bay; a standard-gauge railway line to Juba, South Sudan’s capital; oil pipelines to South Sudan and Ethiopia; an oil refinery; three airports; and three resort locations in the Kenyan towns of Isiolo and Lamu and at the shores of Lake Turkana.[1]

The Lamu government has set aside 1,000 acres of land for the project. The Ministry of Lands says some 60,000 people will be displaced by the project. Less than 20 percent of residents at the coast, including Lamu, have titles for the land they live on. [2]

In August 2014, Chinese firm China Communication Construction Company signed a US$478.9 million deal with the Kenya Ports Authority to construct three berths at the port of Lamu. The port would include a new oil export terminal and a crude oil pipeline enabling oil exports from Kenya to Asia beginning 2017.[3]

In May 2015 it was reported that China Communications Construction Company would begin construction on the first three berths at Lamu Port, with a planned completion of 2018. An additional 29 berths are planned.[4]

In May 2017, Kenya’s High Court and National Environmental Tribunal began to hear residents’ legal challenges against the Lamu port and coal plant. The court cases are critical to determining on what terms the LAPPSET port project is permitted to proceed, as well as whether the proposed coal plant will be allowed to move forward. Community groups argue that there has been little consideration of the project’s high potential to irrevocably harm the ecosystem, its biodiversity, and the human communities that depend on it for their lives.[5]

The first berth at Lamu Port completed in October 2019[6] And it has received its first ship in May 2021.[7]


In September 2014 it was reported that the 1,050 MW coal-fired Lamu Power Project would be constructed in Manda Bay by Amu Power, a consortium of Kenyan and Chinese companies.[8]

According to Amu Power, the plant will have coal-handling facilities, including a jetty and associated infrastructure, at the proposed Lamu Port.[9]

The plant would initially use coal sourced from South Africa, and later switch to local coal mined from Kitui County's Mui Basin, Kenya.[10]

Project Details of proposed coal terminal

  • Operator: Kenya Ports Authority
  • Location: Manda Bay, Lamu County, Kenya
  • Proposed Capacity (Tonnes) 23.9 million tonnes by 2030[11]
  • Status: Proposed
  • Type: Imports
  • Coal Source: South Africa
  • Cost: US$5.5 billion[12]
  • Financing: The Government of Kenya, The African Development Bank, and private sector investors through a public-private partnership[13]

Articles and resources


  1. Otuki, Neville (8 June 2015). "Chinese Firm Signs KSh96 Billion Contract for Lamu Coal-Fired Electricity Plant". Business Daily Africa (Nairobi). Retrieved 22 June 2015.
  2. "KENYA: Disquiet over Lamu port project," IRIN, Oct. 31, 2012
  3. "Chinese Firm Signs $478.9 Million Kenya Lamu Port Deal," Frontiers, Aug. 3, 2014
  4. "Work on Lamu Port to begin Monday," Construction Business Review, May 23, 2015
  5. "The pursuit of coal in Kenya," Medium, May 4, 2017
  6. "Lamu Port completes building its first berth," Business Daily Africa, August 6, 2019
  7. "Kenya's Lamu Port is Complete, But its Value Remains an Open Question," The Maritime Executive, MAY 24, 2021
  8. "Kenyan Chinese Consortium to Build 1000 MW Coal Plant," Power Engineering, September 3, 2014
  9. "About Amu Power," Amu Power website, accessed July 2015
  10. "Lamu Coal Power Plant Project," Citizen News, Jan 13, 2015
  11. "Lamu Port, Kenya," Ship Technology, accessed September 2021
  12. "Investors Wanted For Kenya's Coal, Gas Power Plants," Ventures Africa, Aug 25, 2016
  13. "Lamu Port, Kenya," Ship Technology, 2020

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