The government has established 31 more coal blocks in order to expand its energy sources. The exploration blocks have been created in the coastal counties to determine coal potential and present blocks for concessioning. Exploration for coal has been active on four blocks within the Mui Basin, Kitui County. The basin is divided into four blocks, namely A, B, C and D.
The drilling, the first in the counties, will aid in establishing coal reserve estimates in the zones that are estimated to boost large deposits of rare minerals such as gypsum, titanium and zircon. Contracts for drilling will be awarded on March 19 when bidding for the job closes.
Recently, China’s Fenxi Mining Group was awarded rights to develop coal blocks C and D within Mui basin and expects to start production soon. The group intends to invest KES46m (USD 500m) in the project. Preparations for the concessioning of blocks A and B are ongoing. The government estimates that block C contains a minimum of 400 million tonnes of coal.
Coal is expected to provide up to 2,400MW of electricity by 2030 as per the Least Cost Power Development Plan (LCPDP) 2011/2031 by the Energy ministry. In 2014, a consortium led by two Kenyan firms, Centum Investment and Gulf Energy won a government tender to put up a 1,000MW coal-fired power plant in Lamu. The government plans to generate 5,000MW of power by 2017 as per the PPP agreement.