A court in Kenya has halted plans to build the country’s first coal-fired power plant.

The National Environmental Tribunal has revoked an environmental permit for the Lamu project, located near a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Kenya’s coastal region.

The controversial project is being developed by Amu Power – a joint venture between Gulf Energy and Centum Investment – which in 2018 signed a Sh50 billion deal with GE for its design and construction.

The National Environmental Tribunal ruled that an environmental impact assessment permit was issued under “flawed” circumstances and said that the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) had failed to consider properly the impacts of the 1000 MW project would have.

The ruling was welcomed by local opponents to the project, including campaign group deCOALonize, which brought the legal case against Amu Power.

Amu plans to build three 350 MW pulverised coal-fired units with coal receiving and handling infrastructure at the site, near Manda Bay. It has signed a deal with Kenyan utility KPLC to sell the energy under a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA).

Amu Power was given 30 days to appeal the ruling.