NLC caps Lamu coal power project land at Sh800,000

NLC caps Lamu coal power project land at Sh800,000

The National Lands Commission (NLC) has set a limit to the amount payable to landowners affected by the construction of the Lamu coal power plant.

According to the lands commission, land owners will be paid a maximum of Sh800,000 per acre based on the valuation of the land.

This is a sharp drop from the Sh5 million land owners were initially seeking as compensation for the land, a row that has stalled the construction of the project.

Speaking in Hindi, Lamu County, NLC Chairman Prof. Mohamed Swazuri said the move would ensure that the government gets fair value for the land, even as land owners agitate for higher pay.

“We have come to the conclusion that our figure for compensating the people is Sh800,000 per acre of land. We have done the inquiry, inspection and surveys of the same,” Prof. Swazuri said.

The National Lands Commission has only identified 675 people who will be directly affected by the project, sitting on approximately 505 plots of land.

Prof Swazuri however said special consideration will be made for those who have made significant development to their pieces of land, justifying higher pay.

“We shall also consider the developments and improvements on that land and add to that figure,” he stressed.

The Sh200 billion coal power project is expected to generate 950 megawatts of power once complete.

The project being undertaken by Amu Power, a consortium of Gulf Energy and Centum Investment, was initially slated start construction in January.

However land and National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) approval hurdles have stalled commencement.

The NLC had insisted that the 351.8 hectare piece of land belongs to the government while individuals and several private companies had staked claim to the property

The government has increasingly faced challenges in acquiring land especially for big ticket infrastructure projects such as the standard gauge railway (SGR).

Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter recently said the ministry would work on legislation that caps the amount payable to land owners affected by government projects in an effort of keeping project costs down.

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