Cordisons International, an American energy firm has lost an 11-year battle to construct a Sh21 billion wind power farm in Lamu County.
The Supreme Court of Kenya last week threw out the appeal by the Cordisons when they seeking to compel the National Land Commission (NLC) to issue them with a leasehold to 11,000 acres of land in Kiongwe, Lamu County where it intended to construct the power mill. Lamu
Supreme Court upheld the ruling made by the Court of Appeal in 2017 that found out that the firm’s subsidiary in Kenya had erred by seeking leasehold approvals from the Lamu County Government instead of the NLC.
“It is obvious to us that the appellant (Cordisons International) had not taken cognizance of the new land policy that had been ushered by the Constitution of Kenya 2010 and the Land Act and as a result backed the wrong horse. The appellant ought to have engaged the National Land Commission as soon as it came into operation, given its constitutional and statutory role in allocation of public land,” the judgment read in part.
Cordisons claims it was granted leasehold to the 11,000-acre piece of land in 2009 to put up a wind-power farm by the Lamu County government and but in 2016 NLC awarded Kenwind Holdings Ltd, a subsidiary of Belgian energy company Electrawinds set up a 90MW wind farm on 3,206 acres of the disputed land
Cordisons moved to the Environment and Land Court in Malindi to seek review through to the Court of Appeal and finally the Supreme Court whose last week’s judgement ended the protracted suit by the power firm that had promised to construct the largest renewable power project in the Coast region.
The judgment also clears the way for Kenwind Holdings to continue putting up 90MW Baharini Wind Power project.
Kenya Power signed a 20-year power purchasing agreement with Baharini Wind Power in February after a month-long delay that nearly saw the Belgian investors pulling out.