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Kenya eyes regional growth with completion of oil jetty

KISUMU (Xinhua) -- The Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) said on Wednesday that it has completed the construction of the 17-million-U.S. dollar Kisumu oil jetty that is expected to help the country recapture the regional fuel market share lost to Tanzania. 

Speaking during the technical handover ceremony in Kisumu, KPC’s Managing Director Joe Sang said the oil jetty is expected to deliver petroleum products to neighboring Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Eastern DRC and parts of Tanzania.

“The introduction of an oil jetty will transform Kisumu into the region’s petroleum export hub. This will significantly boost Kenya’s chances of regaining its share of the East African petroleum market with improved fuel supply to western Kenya,” Sang added.

He said the oil jetty is expected to create an efficient and commercially viable integrated marine fuel transportation system for the region, resulting in reduced transportation costs for the oil marketing companies.

According to the KPC, the jetty whose construction began in June 2017 is expected to boost throughput in Kisumu by 1 billion liters a year in phase 1 and up to 3 billion liters per year by 2028.

It will improve the reliability of fuel supply to the export market of Uganda, Rwanda and eastern Democratic Republic of Congo which in 2010 stood at 2.4 billion liters and rose to 3.5 billion liters in 2016.

Southern Engineering Company was awarded the contract to construct the oil jetty. The project has been completed on time and within the budget.

Sang said the handover of the jetty marks a major milestone in the development of KPC petroleum projects as the first major infrastructure project awarded to a Kenyan company.

To ensure that the new jetty is adequately supplied and can sustain the export market, Kenya Pipeline has already completed the construction of the new 122km Sinendet Kisumu pipeline (Line 6) which was commissioned in July last year.

Although refined petroleum is the third largest export product after tea and cut flowers, the country’s grip in the regional market has been shaken by Tanzania’s central corridor which is said to have less market entry barriers than the Kenyan route.

According to statistics from KPC, South Sudan, Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo import a huge percentage of their petroleum products using trucks from the Kenyan port of Mombasa to the Eldoret or Kisumu depots, a route considered expensive and inconvenient.


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