Kenya’s plan to re­cap­ture re­gion’s fuel mar­ket

The East African - - BUSINESS - By KENNEDY SENELWA Spe­cial Cor­re­spon­dent

KENYA HAS moved to re­cap­ture the Great Lakes Re­gion’s fuel mar­ket after los­ing a share of it to Tan­za­nia due to al­le­ga­tions of adul­ter­ation and long queues at the El­doret de­pot.

The Kenya Pipe­line Com­pany has fin­ished in­stalling new load­ing fa­cil­i­ties in the El­doret fuel de­pot, which has cut the load­ing time by and ef­fec­tively raised the amount of fuel trans­ported to the Great Lakes Re­gion from 4 mil­lion litres to 6.5 mil­lion litres daily.

The de­pot serves fuel ex­porters to Uganda, Rwanda, Bu­rundi and east­ern Demo­cratic Repub­lic of Congo.

Long queues

Kenya has em­barked on a charm of­fen­sive to re­cap­ture lost mar­ket share after Rwanda, Bu­rundi and DRC in 2016 opted to im­port fuel through the Cen­tral Cor­ri­dor from the Dar es Salaam port, cit­ing long tanker queues at the de­pot and adul­ter­ation of prod­ucts.

Tran­sit prod­ucts are not sub­jected to up­front taxes in Kenya and Tan­za­nia and there have been re­ports of di­ver­sion of ex­port fuel into the local mar­ket. The two coun­tries have stepped up ef­forts to curb adul­ter­ation of petrol and diesel.

The $3.3 mil­lion up­grade of the El­doret de­pot with bot­tom truck load­ing fa­cil­i­ties is ex­pected to im­prove safety and ef­fi­ciency in load­ing of trucks. Bot­tom load­ing, as op­posed to top load­ing, is the glob­ally ac­cepted prac­tice.

Joe Sang, KPC man­ag­ing di­rec­tor, said evac­u­a­tion of ex­port petroleum prod­ucts in El­doret has in­creased by 2.5 mil­lion litres per day.

The shorter load­ing time is ex­pected to max­imise util­i­sa­tion of the two par­al­lel pipe­lines from Nairobi to El­doret.

“Be­cause of this ef­fi­ciency, there will be no need for trucks to drive all the way to Nairobi,” said Mr Sang.

Pic­ture: Kennedy Senelwa

A worker puts the fi­nal touches on the bot­tom load­ing fa­cil­ity at the El­doret fuel de­pot.

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